Understanding and addressing urological wellness for women is a complex but important part of life. Bladder leakage or urinary incontinence affects over 50% of women. While it is common, over 60% of women do not discuss the issue with anyone. This can make searching for treatment even more daunting when it doesn’t have to be. In this blog post, we’ll talk about women's urological health, as well as tips and treatment options.
Urological Health Concerns in Women
Urinary incontinence is a common, distressing issue for many women. The unintentional leakage of urine may occur due to stress, an overactive bladder, the inability to completely empty the bladder, or other functional reasons.
Urinary Tract Infections
A UTI is a bacterial or viral infection that impacts any part of the urinary system. UTIs are often caused by bacteria but may also be caused by viruses or fungi. Women are more prone to UTIs because of female anatomy. The proximity of the urethra to the anus increases the risk of bacteria entering the GI tract. Intercourse can also increase the risk of UTIs in women.
Common symptoms of urinary tract infections include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Constant urge to urinate.
- Strong-smelling, cloudy, or dark urine.
- Lower abdomen/lower back pain or pressure.
- Low-grade fever.
If left untreated, UTIs can cause medical complications, including kidney infection, sepsis, and some other serious health concerns. Early detection is crucial for preventing complications and improving bladder health for females.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when the muscles and tissues that support the pelvic organs become weak or loose. When this happens, the uterus, bladder, or rectum may drop or press into or out of the vagina. Some causes and risks associated with pelvic organ prolapse include childbirth, aging (menopause), hysterectomy, chronic constipation, chronic cough, obesity, strenuous activity, and genetics.
Lifestyle Tips for Urological Health
Urological health concerns can be uncomfortable and distressing and can impact a person's daily life. There are, luckily, lifestyle changes that can help improve women’s urological health.
Diet and Nutrition
Staying hydrated with enough water helps flush out toxins and bacteria. It can also help to decrease your coffee intake or spicy foods. Reducing irritants such as caffeine, acidic foods, and alcohol can lessen bladder irritation.
Habits and Hygiene
It's important to make sure you are urinating regularly, as it can help reduce bladder stress. Other helpful habits include proper wiping from front to back and urinating after intercourse to flush out any potential bacteria.
Excess weight can increase intra-abdominal pressure, placing stress on the pelvic floor and bladder. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of urinary incontinence.
It's important to feel comfortable talking to a healthcare provider when it comes to urological health. While there are many lifestyle changes to help with urological health, there are also many treatment options from a healthcare provider.
Some non-surgical treatments include medications, bladder training, and pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic muscles, helping manage incontinence issues and pelvic organ prolapse. There are also surgical options available, such as sling procedures, bladder neck suspension, prolapse surgery, and interstitial cystitis treatments.
Complete Care Medical
Be proactive about your health by embracing a proactive approach to urological health! Overcome the silence and stigma often associated with incontinence and other common urological health concerns many women experience. Contact Complete Care Medical today to receive personalized care.