Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by Tina Liu
What is Female Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence (also known as bladder leakage or a leaky bladder), is the inability to prevent the leakage of urine. In other words, it’s when a person urinates when they don’t want to. This happens when control over the urinary sphincter becomes weakened, or lost altogether.
Urinary incontinence is a common condition that affects many people. In women, urine leakage can result from stress factors, such as sneezing, it may occur during and/or after pregnancy, and it occurs more often with other conditions, such as being overweight.
According to the AUA (American Urological Association), 1/4 to 1/3 of men and women in the US experience urinary incontinence. The odds of it occurring increase with age.
Urinary incontinence occurs more frequently among women than men. Approximately 30% of females between the ages of 30-60 are believed to experience problems with leaking urine, compared to 1.5% – 5% of men.
Here’s everything you need to know about women’s urine leakage and how to stop a leaky bladder.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
The most frequent forms of incontinence that could be cause of you leaking urine are:
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
The most commonly-occurring form of bladder leakage is called stress incontinence. Urine gets involuntarily released as a result of pressure being put on the bladder, ending up with you being damp. Things like sneezing, laughing, coughing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects can all trigger stress incontinence-induced urine leakage.
If the group of muscles, ligaments, and nerves that reinforce the bladder and urethra (called the pelvic floor) become weakened, stress incontinence can result. A woman’s body can experience many marvelous events during her lifetime, but certain events, such as being pregnant and giving birth, can place heavy strain on the pelvic floor, causing it to become weaker and stretched.
Gaining weight and the experiencing the hormonal changes associated with menopause can also lead to this form of bladder leakage.
Also known as overactive bladder, urge Incontinence is a strong and urgent need to urinate that can often result in significant urine leakage. Frequently, the urgency to urinate is severe enough that women aren’t able to make it to the bathroom quickly enough and experience a gush of urine.
Those having overactive bladders may run to the bathroom as many as eight times a day or more, and commonly need get out of bed to go in the middle of the night as well.
Urge incontinence can be caused by damage to the muscles or nerves of the bladder or surrounding tissues, resulting in spasms of the bladder wall – and a continuous and unpleasant urge to urinate.
Other types of damage to the nervous system could also contribute to the problem, especially if there is a problem with the signaling between the brain and the bladder about when it’s the appropriate time to go. Conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, MS, and stroke can all cause the type of damage that results in urge incontinence.
Occasionally, certain medications may also be a factor.
The only form of urinary incontinence that’s more common in men than in women, overflow incontinence is caused by not being able to empty the bladder completely, resulting in intermittent dribbles of bladder leakage throughout the day. Because the bladder never fully empties, there can be a greater risk for the likelihood of urinary tract infections in women who experience overflow incontinence.
In women, this form of bladder leakage can be caused by several conditions, including weak bladder muscles, scar tissue, pelvic organ prolapse, kidney stones or a blockage that prevents the bladder from completely emptying or from signaling that it’s full.
Treatment for Bladder Leakage
Fortunately, there are several options you can use to help alleviate bladder leakage, depending on which type of urinary incontinence you are experiencing. Here are the top treatments for a leaky bladder.
1. Kegel Exercises
Performing kegel exercises helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which enables them to better hold in urine and prevent bladder leakage in women.
2. Weight loss
Carrying extra weight places a strain on the pelvic floor muscles, which makes them weaker. Losing some of that extra weight will go a long way in relieving an overactive bladder due to stress incontinence.
It’s not really necessary to go overboard. Just committing to something as simple as a daily morning or evening walk can lead to the weight loss you need to help reduce bladder leakage.
3. Follow a Bladder-Healthy Diet
Certain foods can aggravate your bladder and its function. Try avoiding foods that contain caffeine or alcohol, as well as spicy foods and carbonated beverages.
4. Regular Bowel Movements
Having regular bowel movements can alleviate some extra and unnecessary pressure on your bladder. The best way to stay regular is to eat lots of fiber.
Eating prunes as a sweet and tasty snack is also an overactive bladder treatment that provides an added boost to get your system moving. This should help to decrease the frequency of bladder leakages.
5. Schedule Bathroom Visits
Try to maintain not only regular bowel movements, but condition your bladder as well by making a regular bathroom-visit schedule. Do this by using the bathroom at set times – for example, once every hour, whether you feel the urge to urinate or not.
After you’ve grown accustomed your schedule, try increasing the amount of time between your scheduled bathroom visits. This will not only help to retrain your bladder, it can also diminish the intense urge you feel when having to urinate.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking can result in frequent coughing, commonly referred to as “smoker’s cough”. As we know, coughing puts a strain on the muscles of the pelvic floor which can irritate your bladder and cause urine leakage. Every time you cough, it can cause small leaks of urine.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle in general will often relieve the symptoms of stress incontinence.
7. Keep hydrated
Although it may seem contrary to do so, it’s important to drink enough water if you are experiencing an overactive bladder (urge incontinence). Urine that’s highly concentrated can be more acidic, irritating the bladder and worsening the condition.
By drinking plenty of water you will keep your urine diluted, and therefore less acidic. As long as your urine is pale yellow in color, or clear, you’ll know you’re getting it right.
If you have tried other treatments without much improvement, it might be time to speak to your doctor about taking medication to help relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
A more invasive treatment, catheterization involves inserting a soft, thin, plastic tube into the urethra and up into your bladder so that any unemptied urine can be drained. This relieves the pressure placed on the bladder when its too full or not completely empty.
A catheter can either be fixed or used intermittently, but should always be used under the guidance of a medical professional.
Another invasive form of treatment for bladder leakage involves surgery. A surgical procedure can be used to remove any physical blockage to the bladder that may be causing overflow incontinence.
One the best solutions we’ve found to treat the symptoms of urinary incontinence is a supplement called Confitrol24. By promoting urinary tract health and anti-aging effects to the bladder, this supplement has literally been life-changing for both men and women dealing with embarrassing urine leakage and the sudden urge to find a bathroom.
Confitrol24 was formulated by doctors with a potent, clinically-proven blend called Urox®. This proprietary blend contains three ingredients that work together to enhance the bladder’s tone and promote the healthy function of the urinary tract.
The Urox® blend has been medically tested and demonstrated to decrease urinary frequency, night time urination by 50%, embarrassing accidents, and the need to wear incontinence pads. Other benefits include:
- Reduces embarrassing leakage
- Decreases sudden urgency
- Enhances bladder tone
- Supports urinary tract health
- Promotes anti-aging effects for the bladder
Made with only high-quality all-natural ingredients, Confitrol24 is perfect for men and women who want to get back to living without the embarrassing, uncomfortable, and unpleasant imposition caused by bladder leakage and frequent urination. HIGHLY recommended.
Nutrition expert. Blog writer. Health enthusiast.