Leaking urine involuntarily, or stress incontinence, is a common problem
for many women, especially after childbirth and with aging. But you don’t
need to live with this discomfort, BCH OBGYN
Dr. Jeremiah McNamara recently told Denver 7’s Nicole Brady.
“Stress incontinence is a problem that too many women are familiar
with, where they lose control of their bladder when they laugh, sneeze,
jump, exercise or do other normal everyday activities. It’s an issue
where they feel like they don’t have the strength to hold that urine
back,” said Dr. McNamara, an OBGYN at
Boulder Women’s Care.
Stress incontinence is caused by lack of strength and coordination of
the muscles of the pelvic floor. Although it does occur in men, it’s
much more common in women, especially after childbirth. It is much more
prevalent than people realize, and its incidence also increases with age:
30% of women over 30 have it, 40% of women over 40, and 50% of women over
50. Being overweight or smoking also increase risk for this condition.
When Dr. McNamara sees women for this problem, he explains that there are
effective same-day surgical procedures that can eliminate this problem
forever--and shares some good tips and tricks in terms of lifestyle changes
that can help as a first step.
Watch your fluid intake. Many women assume that more water throughout the day is always better,
but too much water drinking can make this issue worse.
Minimize caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol. All of these substances are known bladder irritants that can make things worse.
Plan regular bathroom breaks. You’re more likely to avoid leakage if you don’t allow your
bladder to get too full.
Strengthen your pelvic floor. Skilled physical therapists (PTs) specialize in these problems and can
work with you to address your individual situation and to help strengthen
muscles. You can also do some research and start doing daily Kegel exercises
at home. There are several app-based devices on the market that help your
track your progress.
Ultimately if it’s a problem that’s starting to really affect
your life, Dr. McNamara recommends coming in for a consultation, where
you can get referrals to pelvic-floor PTs and other resources, and learn
about range of treatment options, including effective permanent solutions.
To schedule an appointment, call Boulder Women’s Care at 303-441-0587.