How to Control a Leaky Bladder

Steven Mott by Steven Mott | Licensed since 2012

This article was updated on: 08/28/2018

A leaky bladder can affect your social life, your work, and your personal relationships. Leaky bladder symptoms can range from light wetting to uncontrollable urine flow. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a leaky bladder is twice as common in women as men. A leaky bladder also becomes more common with age. A leaky bladder can also be called urinary incontinence.

What are causes of a leaky bladder?

According to the U.S. National Library of medicine, causes of a leaky bladder include:

  • Muscle weakness sometimes caused by childbirth in women
  • Prostate problems in men including removal of the prostate gland
  • Nerve damage

According to the Mayo Clinic, other causes of a leaky bladder could include:

  • Diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Illnesses that cause coughing and sneezing
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Constipation
  • Menopause

How to stop a leaky bladder?

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can help stop a leaky bladder though lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight increases pressure on your bladder and surrounding muscles.

You also can practice pelvic floor exercise, which, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, can be very effective in improving a leaky bladder. Practice pelvic floor exercises for a leaky bladder by first emptying your bladder. Then tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold while you count to 10. Relax completely for a count of 10. Do 10 repetitions, 3 to 5 times a day.

To improve a leaky bladder, you can make diet changes. Avoid drinks that can irritate your bladder, such as caffeine and alcohol and foods such as acidic foods. You may also consume liquids on a schedule so you know you’ll be near a bathroom when you have the need to urinate. You also can try increasing the fiber in your diet, since constipation can be a cause of a leaky bladder.

The Mayo Clinic also recommends that you quit smoking to help control a leaky bladder. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there is a strong relationship between current and former cigarette smoking and stress urinary incontinence in women. Stress urinary incontinence in when a leaky bladder happens as a result of a physical movement or activity such as coughing, sneezing, or heavy lifting, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Certain surgeries may improve the closure of the urinary sphincter or the support the bladder neck. According to the Mayo Clinic, in the United States there are no approved medications to treat stress incontinence (a leaky bladder as result of physical movement.)

Do you have questions about Medicare coverage of a leaky bladder?

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