Talking to Your Doctor About Bladder Problems

Mar 222014
 

Talk to your doctor about problems with leaksOne in three women in the US suffers from incontinence. Often women are either too embarrassed to seek help for their leakage or believe it’s just a part of aging. However, each of the four types of incontinence can be treated or managed either on your own or with the help of a doctor. Talking to your doctor and determining the cause of your bladder problems is extremely important because your leaks might be a symptom of another condition and could get worse if ignored. In this day and age there is no need to just live with bladder leakage, make an appointment with your doctor and use this guide to help you start the conversation.

The First Step

The first step to solving your incontinence is to see your primary care physician. If your leaks are caused by infection or medication, your doctor might be able to treat you by prescribing or changing medication. However, if it’s more severe they will send you to see a specialist trained in treating incontinence, such as a urologist or a urogynecologist (OB/GYN who specializes in treating women with pelvic floor disorders). If your type of incontinence is related to the brain or nerves they might even send you to see a neurologist.  If they decide to treat with pelvic floor muscle exercises you may see a physiotherapist, who will help you get the right technique to strengthen the muscles that control your bladder and bowel. Regardless of what kind of doctor you see it is Important to find a knowledgeable physician that you feel comfortable having an open and honest discussion with.

Starting the Conversation

It can be hard to broach the subject at first, so try starting with a more general statement and work your way up from there. “I’m having trouble with my bladder” is a good way to start—it should prompt your doctor to start asking you questions to get a better understanding of your issue. He or she will then be able to steer the conversation as they help you get to the root of your condition.

The doctor will take your medical history and current health concerns, but be sure to give them details on any pregnancies (vaginal birth or caesarian section, length of labor) or surgeries you’ve had—both of which can contribute to different forms of incontinence. When you list your medications, be sure to include dosages and frequency for each. Many medications, from prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) meds to herbal, vitamin, and mineral supplements, can contribute to bladder problems.

The Details

Your doctor will also want more information about your bladder problem, so make sure you’re as specific as you can be with your responses. “A little bit of urine” can mean different things to different people, for one person it might mean a few drops, for another it might mean a change of clothes.It could help to keep a record of your leaks and other symptoms over the 3-4 days before your appointment. In your journal you should record:

  • Each time you urinate
  • How much urine you void
  • Everything you drink and eat, and the time
  • When you leak and how much
  • How many pads you went through
  • What you were doing when you leaked?
  • Was there an urge to urinate before you leaked?

Try to also record other symptoms not specifically related to leaks, like pain, constipation or diarrhea. Many of these symptoms are actually related and can be treated together.

One area that incontinence sufferers will overlook when talking to their doctor is: how this condition has affected their lives. However, if incontinence is affecting your social life and relationships—stopping you from going places or doing things that you once enjoyed—your doctor needs to know. They are there to help you figure out the cause of your incontinence and offer effective solutions, don’t be embarrassed to reach out about the full effects that leaks are having on your life.

During the appointment the doctor might order certain tests to help uncover the source of your leaks, ask them to explain the test to you. Understanding the test and its purpose can make it much less stressful for you and let you feel more in control. The same goes for any treatment they might prescribe: have your doctor walk you through all of the details. Ask them about the side-effects of any medication, have them teach you the correct pelvic floor muscle exercise technique, and ask for recommendations on the best Kegel exerciser for improving your pelvic health. Make sure you leave with all of your questions answered—it will make your treatment easier and more effective, in addition to making you more comfortable with your doctor.

Urine leakage is nothing to be ashamed about, it’s a common problem that many women face but it is manageable with the right help from your doctor. Take that first step today and you will be that much closer to getting back to life before leaks—you’ll be happy you did!

 

 

Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.

Laselle_VS_KegelSmart

Lift & Squeeze: Comparing Laselle and KegelSmart Pelvic Floor Trainers

Sure, we know how important pelvic floor strength is for our overall health, but do any of us actually know if we’re doing them right?   Enter Kegel exercisers – handly little devices that range from beautifully simple to astoundingly high tech (while always easy to use). We’ve got 2 types of products – Laselle [...]

Read more »

How-to-Deal-with-an-Overactive-Bladder

How to Deal with an Overactive Bladder

Urination is a normal part of a healthy, functioning body, but when does an ‘active’ bladder become an ‘overactive’ bladder? On average, you can expect to go about eight times a day; if you down a Route 44 Slurpee, at least one extra trip to the loo is in your near future. But an overactive [...]

Read more »

what age should you start doing kegels

Kegels: The Earlier the Better?

Whether you pronounce it key-gul or kay-gul, you’ve probably heard something about this wonderful little workout. Developed by Dr. Kegel, this exercise is a simple contraction of your pelvic floor muscles (upwards and inwards) which can build strength and tone over time. The benefits of Kegeling range from improving your sex life to preventing incontinence, [...]

Read more »

vagina exercise weights

How to Use Vagina Weights: 8 Dos and Don’ts

The muscles of the pelvic floor have one of the toughest jobs in the whole body, supporting many of our vital organs and helping us to stay in control of many of our bodily functions. Good pelvic floor strength also increases sexual sensation and can help prepare for, and recover from childbirth. So it’s really [...]

Read more »

14 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

When it comes to being fit and healthy, it’s not just what’s on the outside that counts. No siree, staying in shape is as much about the inside as the out. And yet, a hugely important part of our internal anatomy is constantly overlooked when we discuss exercise or anything else for that matter… The [...]

Read more »

woman wearing sunglasses holding illustrated weights

And Squeeze! Why You NEED Vagina Weights in Your Life

You’ve most likely heard (over and over again) how important a strong pelvic floor is, from avoiding wet panties (the bad kind) to intensifying your moans n’ groans (the good kind). Yet for many women, the ol’ lift-and-squeeze Kegel method can seem like a pretty vague and uneventful workout. Because we cannot see or feel our [...]

Read more »

do kegels work intimina kegelsmart

Do Kegels work? Yes they do! Here are the facts

From your doctor to your mom, people are always reminding women to keep up with their Kegels. But a lot of women worry that they’re doing all that squeezing in vain because they read an article by a nay-sayer or they don’t get results as soon as they start Kegeling. Don’t give up on your [...]

Read more »

5 Reasons to Start Doing Kegels – Right Now

You’ve heard it before: “do your Kegels! They’re great for you!” But a lot of us like to think that it doesn’t apply to us – especially if we’re not experiencing any obvious problems right now. But the reality is ALL women need a healthy pelvic floor and Kegel exercises are one of the best [...]

Read more »

Diabetes and Incontinence – Why and How to Treat it

Approximately 13 million American women have diabetes and they experience many challenges, but one of the more embarrassing side effects is an increased risk of urinary incontinence. Even though women with diabetes have up to a 70% increased risk of developing incontinence, it remains one of the more difficult topics for women to discuss, so [...]

Read more »

Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Exercise

9 Simple Ways to Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Exercise

We’re big fans of staying fit and healthy, but it’s important to make sure your fitness routine is safe for every part of your body – including your pelvic floor muscles. Some exercises put increased downward pressure on your pelvic floor, which can weaken the muscles and connective tissues there.  Your pelvic floor supports your [...]

Read more »

  • Sign Up. It's Rewarding!
  • Join our newsletter list today.
  • Enjoy 10% off your first order.
  • *Email address
  •  Birthday
  • *Required field
      View our terms and conditions
INTIMINA uses cookies to improve our service to the customer. By continuing to browse our site, you agree to our use of cookies detailed here . ACCEPT