Women of all ages can have bladder control problems. Some younger women find they can’t hold their urine after having a baby. Others have problems when they stop having periods. Many women over the age of 75 also have bladder control problems.
You may feel ashamed about bladder control problems. Remember that it’s a medical problem and it’s not your fault. Millions of women have the same problem.
Don’t believe people who tell you that urine leakage is normal. It isn’t. Most of the time it can be improved. Your health care team can help you. Nearly everyone with a bladder control problem can be helped. Call your clinic and find out how.
Where can you go for help?
You can do many things to help improve your bladder control. Talk to your family doctor or nurse. If you have a more difficult case, you may need to see a urologist (yoor-ALL-uh-jist). Urologists are experts in bladder and urine problems.
A gynecologist (guy-nuh-CALL-uh-jist) is a doctor who treats problems of the female system. Your gynecologist can also help you with bladder control. Your doctor might also want you to see a urogynecologist (YOOR-oh-guy-nuh-CALL-uhjist). Urogynecologists treat women’s bladder and urine problems.
You can also get help from a urology or continence nurse. Visiting home nurses can help you learn about bladder control. Some physical therapists help people with pelvic muscle exercise programs.
Check with your insurance plan about payment for these services. You may need a referral from your regular doctor. If you feel shy about calling a doctor or nurse, maybe a support group can help you. Some groups will talk to you on their toll free number. Others have free or inexpensive brochures and videos about bladder control.
Let’s Talk about Bladder Control for Women are a public health awareness campaign conducted by the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health.
Frequent symptoms of a bladder problem include:
- Burning with urination – the most common symptom of a urinary tract infection.
- Frequent urge to urinate without the ability to pass a desired amount of urine (frequency).
Urgent need to urinate (urgency).
- Feeling of incompletely emptying of your bladder.
- Blood in the urine (hematuria). Your urine may look red, brown, or pink. Blood in the urine may occur after exercise, such as running or bicycling.
- Leaking urine (incontinence)