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According to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP), which were published on Sept. 15 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, urinary incontinence is a condition that affects up to 57% of women between the ages of 40-60 years old and 75% of women ages 75 or older. Although it should also be noted that since many of the women who have urinary incontinence are embarrassed about it (and some even refuse to admit that they have it), many women don’t talk to their doctor about their bladder issues. Like ACP president Dr. David Fleming said in a statement, “urinary incontinence is a common problem for women that is often underreported and underdiagnosed." Whether you have a tendency to leak a little when you laugh, cough, and/or sneeze or you suddenly experience the urgent need to urinate (or the loss of urine after a sudden urge to urinate), you may be suffering from urinary incontinence.
Fortunately, according to the ACP’s new guidelines for treating urinary incontinence, the condition can successfully be treated without the use of medications or invasive surgeries. Before trying medications (which can have nasty side-effects) or rushing into surgical treatments, the new ACP guidelines recommend trying the following conservative treatment options:
Conservative Treatment Options:
-- Pelvic strengthening exercises (Kegal exercises)
-- Bladder training
-- Weight loss & exercise
The new guidelines recommend that the ‘route’ of treatment be determined based upon which type of urinary incontinence the individual has:
-- Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress Urinary Incontinence is characterized by the loss of urine while laughing, coughing, and/or sneezing. According the ACP’s new guidelines, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is an effective first-line of treatment for those who experience stress urinary incontinence. Numerous studies have confirmed that Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that control the bladder; and as the ACP’s guidelines state, “studies suggest that Kegel exercises are five times more effective as no treatment in improving UI [urinary incontinence] symptoms in women with stress UI."
-- Urgency Urinary Incontinence
According to the new guidelines, initial treatments for those who have Urgency Urinary Incontinence, which entails the sudden need to urinate and/or involuntarily leaking urine for no apparent reasons, should consist of training the bladder. The ACP recommends attempting to urinate on a set schedule and then gradually trying to increase the amount of time in between trips to the bathroom.
Those who experience a combination of both stress UI and urgency UI (as well as those who don’t experience complete relief from just one form of conservative treatments) are recommended to try a combination of Kegel exercises and bladder training. In addition, the ACP also suggests that weight loss and exercising regularly can also help make UI symptoms more manageable (especially for those who are overweight).
It is important for those with UI to be diligent with their conservative treatments. Even though it’s hard to be patient when comes to dealing with embarrassing UI symptoms, it is important to stick with the treatment. You can’t strengthen the pelvic muscles or train the bladder overnight, no matter how much you wish you could. Thankfully, Mountainside Medical Equipment offers a wide range of incontinence care products to help make dealing with your UI symptoms less interruptive to your life. Browse through today and see what products would work for you. When you want discreet protection, you want to buy from Mountainside Medical Equipment. Not only can our products be discreetly worn under your normal clothing, but they also come in a discreet package so your neighbors don’t have to know that you are dealing with UI!