How to Help Someone Who Has Stress Urinary Incontinence
Someone with stress urinary incontinence leaks urine whenever pressure is placed on the bladder. Coughing, sneezing, laughing, and lifting all exert pressure on the bladder and trigger a urine leak. This can also occur during sex.
Stress urinary incontinence usually affects seniors and can affect both men and women. Medical conditions and treatments can also cause the problem. No matter the age of the patient or the cause, stress urinary incontinence is not normal.
What Causes Stress Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence happens when the muscles in and around the bladder become dysfunctional, the urethra muscles relax, and urine from the bladder drains without warning. It can cause a small leak or result in soaked underwear.
Sometimes, the cause of urinary incontinence is a weak bladder, urethra, and pelvic muscles. Nerve damage from neurological problems can also cause a loss of bladder control. In men, an enlarged prostate, which can press against the bladder and urethra, causes the bladder to become overactive and the urethra to leak urine. Prostatectomy, which is the partial or complete removal of the prostate, can also cause urinary incontinence, as the procedure can damage the nerves and muscles that control urination.
How can you help someone with stress urinary incontinence?
Stress urinary incontinence can significantly impair a person’s life and cause emotional and social problems. Fortunately, you and your doctor can it successfully. If you are caring for someone with this condition, here are a few helpful tips to help improve his or her symptoms and experience with the condition.
- Discourage caffeinated drinks – these can cause frequent urination and increase the risk of accidental urine leakage.
- Make going to the bathroom easy – keep the bathroom clutter-free, well-lit, and install a raised toilet seat for maximum comfort.
- Encourage frequent bathroom breaks – by the time a person feels the urge to urinate, the bladder is already half full. Regular bathroom breaks and going even before feeling the urge to urinate can minimize accidents.
- Use urine-absorbing products, such as underwear, when leaving the house – there are incontinence pads and incontinence underwear that can prevent embarrassing moments in public.
- Pelvic exercises – Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder. The exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles a few times in a row at least three times a day.
- See a doctor – a urologist specializes in conditions that affect the urinary tract and reproductive system. There are some medications that can help with emptying the bladder fully and tighten the muscles responsible for urine control. If urinary incontinence is caused by an enlarged prostate, surgery may improve or cure the condition.
A urologist can provide more options for treating urinary incontinence.
Urologist in Concord, NC
Dr. Richard Natale is a urologist specializing in the treatment of men’s health issues. Dr. Natale can help you or your male loved one who is experiencing stress urinary incontinence. In our urology clinic, we offer urinary incontinence treatment options such as penile clamps, urethral slings, and the gold standard of treating urinary incontinence — the artificial urinary sphincter.