Healthy Aging

Control the Go: Treating Urinary Incontinence

If your bladder control isn’t what it used to be, you may be experiencing urinary incontinence (UI). Though the loss of bladder control is more common in women and older adults, it can happen to anyone. Fortunately, UI can often be cured or controlled with treatment. If you’re experiencing mild to severe loss of bladder control, here’s what you can do to control the go and stay dry.

What to Do When You Lose Bladder Control

Urinary incontinence is a symptom, not a disease. The most important step in treating UI is talking with your doctor about the problem.

  • See a Primary Care Physician
    If you experience any loss in bladder control, make an appointment with a primary care physician. “A variety of things can cause loss of bladder control, including infections, weak or overactive muscles, medications, inactivity, or diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Leena Kodali, Medical Director for our MatureWell Lifestyle Center. Your doctor can help diagnose the cause and recommend a treatment strategy.

  • Consider Pelvic Muscle Rehab
    If you suspect weak pelvic floor muscles could be causing your UI, ask your doctor about the Pelvic Floor Therapy Program. CHI St. Joseph Health’s pelvic floor therapists work with a team of urologists, OB/GYNs, and other doctors to design an individualized therapy program for you.

  • Make Lifestyle Changes
    Lifestyle changes, like cutting back on alcohol or caffeinated beverages, quitting smoking, and losing weight, can help with incontinence. Revamp your fitness routine and learn more about controlling the go at the MatureWell Lifestyle Center with the help of physical or occupational therapists.  

Whether you’re dribbling urine or dealing with a total lack of bladder control, be proactive and make an appointment with a primary care physician to treat UI symptoms or receive a referral to our Pelvic Floor Therapy Program.

Sources:
NIH | Bladder Control Problems in Women (Urinary Incontinence)
Urinary Incontinence
NIH | Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults
Staying Trim, Strong May Cut Risk for Urinary Incontinence

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