New Beginnings Healthcare for Women
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Bladder Health

I'll let you in on a secret. Lots and lots of women have problems with their bladders. The sad thing is that only about half of women who suffer with a bladder problem ever discuss it with a healthcare provider. The purpose of this article is to shed some light and heighten awareness of some common bladder health concerns. Let's start with a few simple definitions.

Urinary incontinence (4 main types)

Stress incontinence: Leakage of urine either small or large amounts when coughing, laughing, sneezing or lifting. There are many causes, but in most cases there is a weakening of the pelvic muscles. Some factors are childbirth and hormone changes. Also weight gain can aggravate the problem.

Urge incontinence: Also known as "overactive bladder with incontinence". In this case there is an urgent desire to empty the bladder accompanied by loss of urine. The amount of urine lost may be small, or some women report large "gushes" of urine requiring the use daily incontinence pads. There is a "disconnect" in the communication between the brain and the bladder muscle (called the detrusor). Some factors are stress, medications, infection, trauma, foods and beverages (like caffeine), and others.

Mixed incontinence: Simply a combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Overflow incontinence: Much less common, patients with this usually have some sort of neurological or anatomic cause.

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Overactive bladder

Is another common bladder condition, can be accompanied by urine leakage, but often is "dry", that is, the person has urinary frequency and/or urgency without actually leaking. The reasons for this condition are varied, much like urge incontinence. This problem is still a significant source of distress for sufferers as the person often becomes a 'slave to their bladder' often needing to know where every bathroom is.

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Interstitial cystitis (IC)

An inflammatory bladder condition that begins with urgency, then frequency, then pain. Usually the symptoms persist off and on for years before a diagnosis is made. Often these women believe they have frequent UTI's, but no bacteria are usually found on testing. The cause is unknown although there are several theories and effective treatments to control "flare ups".

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Pelvic Prolapse

Basically, this means the bladder, uterus or rectum has "dropped" to varying degrees. Many women have one of these problems and either aren't aware of it, or are not bothered by their prolapse. Some women however are aware of a feeling of pelvic pressure, a bulge, a sensation that something is "falling out", or change in urine stream or constipation.

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Summary

Whatever the cause, incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic prolapse and IC cause a great deal of distress to the person suffering from the problem.

In my Women's Health practice, I see women daily who have suffered with a bladder problem for years. Many of these women have not sought care before because of some common misconceptions. Many women erroneously believe bladder problems, especially urinary incontinence, is a "normal" part of aging! Women with these conditions can be helped! In many cases improvement occurs without drugs or surgery. Refuse to suffer with bladder issues-you deserve to live the fullest possible life!

We provide:

  • Evaluation and management of bladder problems.
  • Treatment, which may include diet and nutrition, pelvic muscle exercises (pelvic "rehab"),
  • Patient education to empower you to be an active in your care.

Call Today! 570-329-CARE

Best of 2012 - Nurse Practitioners

"Never Ever in my 25 + years experience..."
~ Mary F.

Contact Information
1017 Washington Blvd, Suite B
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone: (570)-329-2273
info@newbeginningsforwomen.com
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