Urinary Incontinence, Female (Adult) - Fairview Health Services
 
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Urinary Incontinence [Female]

Urinary Incontinence means loss of control of the bladder. This may be due to infection, medicine, aging, poor pelvic muscle tone, bladder spasms, obesity or urinary retention.

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STRESS INCONTINENCE is a special form of incontinence in women where the muscles and ligaments supporting the bladder have been stretched by pregnancy. Coughing, sneezing or laughing increases bladder pressure and may cause loss of urine.

URGE INCONTINENCE (also called "overactive bladder") is a sudden urge to urinate even though there may not be much urine in the bladder. The need to urinate often during the night is common. It is due to bladder spasms. It is a common cause of incontinence in both men and women.

Treatment of this condition depends on the cause. Infections of the bladder are treated with antibiotics. Urinary retention is treated with a bladder catheter. Stress incontinence can be treated with special exercises to strengthen muscles around the bladder, although sometimes surgery is required.

Home Care:

1) Avoid foods and drinks that may irritate the bladder (alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, chocolate, citrus fruits and acidic fruits and juices).

2) Limit fluid intake to 6 to 8 cups a day.

3) Lose weight if you are overweight. This will reduce your symptoms.

4) If your problem is stress incontinence, talk to your doctor about Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles around the bladder.

5) If necessary, wear absorbent pads to catch urine.

6) Bathe daily to maintain good hygiene and prevent odors and skin irritation from contact with urine.

7) If an antibiotic was prescribed to treat a bladder infection, be sure to take it until finished, even if you are feeling better before then.

8) If a bladder catheter was left in place, it is important to keep the bacteria from getting into the collection bag. Use a leg band to secure the drainage tube, so it does not pull on the catheter. Drain the collection bag when it becomes full using the drain spout at the bottom of the bag. Do not disconnect the bag from the catheter.

Follow Up

with your doctor or this facility as advised. If a catheter was left in place, it will need to be removed or changed soon.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

-- Fever of 99.5 F (orally)

-- Bladder pain or fullness

-- Abdominal swelling, nausea or vomiting or back pain

-- Catheter falls out or stops draining (no urine from catheter in six hours)

-- Weakness, dizziness or fainting

 

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