Skip directly to content

Bladder Control Issues

Text Increase:
Text Increase Normal
Text Increase Large
Text Increase Largest

Bladder Control Issues and Urinary Incontinence

Many women in the Celebration and South Orlando communities suffer from bladder control issues. Bladder control issues, also known as urinary incontinence, are quite common for women after they have children and as they age. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you can’t get to the bathroom in time to prevent accidents.

As active women, the physicians know that bladder control issues can affect your daily life, causing you to make unwanted and limiting life-style changes. A Place for Women can help you regain control of your bladder and your life.

Symptoms of Bladder Control Problems

Symptoms of bladder control issues or urinary incontinence depend on the type of problem and can range from minor leaking to frequent wetting accidents.

Types of bladder control issues or urinary incontinence include:

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle of the bladder is weakened often from pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. Symptoms of stress incontinence include leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise or lift something heavy.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence occurs when your bladder muscle contracts signaling a sudden intense need to urinate followed by involuntary emptying of the bladder. Urge incontinence may be caused by urinary tract infections, bladder irritants, bowel problems, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, injury or nervous system damage associated with multiple sclerosis. If there's no known cause, urge incontinence is also called overactive bladder.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is an inability to empty your bladder resulting in frequent or constant dribbling of urine. 

Overflow incontinence may occur in people with a damaged bladder, blocked urethra or nerve damage from diabetes, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.

Causes and Risk Factors of Bladder Control Issues

Bladder control issues, or urinary incontinence, can be caused by a number of underlying problems:

  • Lifestyle habits such as using alcohol
  • Becoming dehydrated
  • Loss of pelvic floor support
  • Infections
  • Bladder muscle spasms

Bladder cancer or bladder stones can cause incontinence, urinary urgency and burning with urination.

Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, a brain tumor or a spinal injury can interfere with nerve signals involved in bladder control, causing urinary incontinence.

Obstruction from a tumor anywhere along your urinary tract can block the normal flow of urine and cause incontinence.

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing bladder control issues and urinary incontinence including:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Weakening muscles due to age
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Kidney diseases and diabetes

Tests to Diagnose Bladder Control Issues

You should talk to the doctors at A Place for Women any time you are concerned about bladder control issues or urinary incontinence.

Your doctor will start with a complete medical history to determine the frequency, duration and severity of your symptoms to help determine the cause of your bladder control issues and your best treatment options.

Common tests and processes for urinary incontinence include:

  • Bladder diary to record how much you drink, when you urinate, the amount of urine you produce, whether you had an urge to urinate and the number of incontinence episodes.
  • Urinalysis to check your urine for signs of infection, traces of blood, or other abnormalities.
  • Blood test to check for chemicals and substances related to causes of incontinence.

To gather more information, your doctor may recommend additional specialized tests including:

  • Postvoid residual (PVR) measurement to measure the amount of urine left in your bladder after you urinate. A large amount of leftover urine in your bladder may mean that you have an obstruction in your urinary tract or a problem with your bladder nerves or muscles.
  • Pelvic ultrasound to check for structural abnormalities.
  • Stress test, in which you are asked to cough vigorously or bear down as your doctor examines you and watches for loss of urine.
  • Urodynamic testing to measure pressure in your bladder when it's at rest and when it's filling to determine your bladder strength and urinary sphincter health.
  • Cystogram, an X-ray of your bladder using special dye to follow the flow of urine through a series of images.
  • Cystoscopy uses a thin tube with a tiny lens inserted into your urethra to look for abnormalities in your urinary tract.

Treatments and Procedures to Solve Bladder Control Issues

In most cases, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease your bladder control issues or stop urinary incontinence. Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence, the severity of your problem and the underlying cause.

A combination of treatments may be needed including:

  • Bladder training to help you learn ways to control your bladder muscles.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises, to gain better control over the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine.
  • Medications to calm overactive bladder muscles.
  • Medical devices including a urethral insert which acts as a plug to prevent leakage or a pessary, a stiff ring inserted into your vagina, that helps support your bladder.

If less invasive treatments are ineffective, your doctor may recommend surgical procedures including:

  • Sling procedures which use strips of your body’s tissue, synthetic material, or mesh to create a pelvic sling or hammock around your bladder neck and urethra to keep the urethra closed, especially when you cough or sneeze.
  • Bladder neck suspension to support your urethra and bladder neck, an area of thickened muscle where the bladder connects to the urethra.
  • Artificial urinary sphincter implanted around the neck of your bladder which you control by pressing a valve under your skin.

If you think you have bladder control issues, such as urinary incontinence, contact A Place for Women at 321.939.3553 to request an appointment.