The bladder is the hollow organ in the lower region of the abdomen that stores urine. When the bladder is filled, the muscle relaxes so that it expands. As the bladder empties during urination muscle contract to expel the urine out through the urethra. Bladder problem also called “urinary incontinence” (UI) refers to accidental urine leakage. UI affects the person’s control over holding or releasing urine.
Feeling a strong and sudden urge to urinate.
Urine leakage during regular activities like bending, coughing, lifting or exercising.
Urine leakage without any surge.
Being unable to hold urine.
Certain health problems or life-events like sexual assault, pregnancy, child-birth, menopause and pelvic organ prolapsed may weaken pelvic floor muscles causing stress incontinence. During stress incontinence, women are unable to prevent urine leakage during coughing, laughing, sneezing and other physical activities. Fecal incontinence may also occur as a consequence of weak pelvic floor.
Men with prostate problems may develop bladder problem. With progressing age, prostate gets bigger that’s termed as “prostate enlargement”. In such cases, men face trouble in urinating. Men with a prostate cancer history may also experience bladder problems. Nervous system disorders and lifestyle may also contribute to bladder problems in men and women.
Quality of life is affected by bladder problems and further, other health issues may arise such as emotional distress, anxiety, sleep disturbances and sexuality issues. Conditions may worsen, if a person:
- Urinates more frequently (8 or more visits to bathroom per day).
- Having trouble in emptying bladder.
- Having hematuria (blood in the urine).
- Having painful urination.
In such cases, a health care professional must be consulted, immediately.
Treatment depends upon the type of incontinence, age, health condition and mental well-being. Pelvic floor exercises are suggested to strengthen the pelvic muscles and proper bladder training may help gradually regain control over the bladder. Certain medications are also prescribed along with exercises which include anticholinergics and antidepressants.