Is your bladder in control of your urine or your urine in control of your bladder?
Overflow incontinence is the name given to several different types of incontinence occurring at once. It is the inability to control your urine and can take numerous forms. Overflow incontinence happens occurs when you are unable to fully empty your bladder leading to the overflow of urine. Many times the bladder does not even feel full so you are not even aware of the need to urinate. Sometimes the dribbling of urine can occur during the day, and sometimes also at night causing you to wet the bed.
Another problem can be stale urine left in your bladder. If the bladder does not empty completely when you go to the loo it becomes a haven for bacteria resulting in repeated urinary tract infections.
What can cause Overflow Incontinence?
- Blockages of the urethra– The urethra carries urine from the bladder. If it becomes obstructed due to pelvic organ prolapse or a blockage this will prevent it emptying properly.
- Weak bladder muscles– Weak muscles prevent the bladder from being fully emptied because they are unable to squeeze it sufficiently.
- Damage to the nerves associated with the bladder– Damage can occur through disease such as Diabetes, alcoholism, Parkinson’s disease and multiple Sclerosis.
- Prescription medications – some anticonvulsants and anti-depressants can affect the nerve signals to the bladder. Diuretic Medications have also been linked to over-flow incontinence.
What can you do about Overflow Incontinence?
- Medical Help– seek the advice of your Doctor. There are a number of options available including a bladder stress test, catheterization, ultrasound and/or Urodynamic testing.
- Bladder Training – also known as timed voiding or bladder dril, is a simple solution. By creating a schedule of your toilet visits you’ll be able to get more of an idea about how your bladder works. Timed voiding means that you go to the loo ever two hours or another regular interval if you can’t go that long. If your bladder signals for you to go before your scheduled time, use Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor or use relaxation techniques to control the urge until the feeling passes. When you start to recognise these bladder trigger points you’ll be able to go less frequently, with longer and longer intervals inbetween.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises– Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are essential. Results can take up to 3 months but strengthening your pelvic floor muscles means that your bladder and pelvic organs won’t sag and cause leaks. These exercises are a must if you have a blockage that is caused by either a bladder prolapse or prolapsed urethra.
- Reduce or modify your diuretics– with your health professional’s supervision you might want to consider lowering or modifying the dose of medication to avoid the unwanted side effects of diuretics.
Take a look at our range of Kegel8 pelvic floor exercisers and specialist products to help you get strong and calm your bladder!