Bladder problems are common health issues among women from all age groups, affecting around 25% of women worldwide. Though they are more common among older women, younger, active women and girls are also quite susceptible to bladder problems. They result mainly due to hormonal changes and weakening of muscles during pregnancy or menopause.
However, they may also result due to injury, infection or as a result of ageing. At times, psychological problems and certain diseases also result in bladder problems. They manifest themselves in the form of sores, rashes, infections, sleeping problems or sexual problems, often resulting in a lot of discomfort and distress to the affected individual and may even result in embarrassing social situations.
Most of the women are too shy or embarrassed to discuss their bladder problems and continue to suffer in silence. However, it is advisable to overcome your embarrassment and seek medical advice as most of these cases can be treated and cured with ease with appropriate treatment.
Various Bladder Problems In Women
This is perhaps one of the most common bladder problems that require medical attention. Leakage of urine may result as a consequence of childbirth or as a natural process of ageing. However, it may also indicate the presence of more serious problems such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis that should be treated on an urgent basis.
Though a few incidents of urinary incontinence that gets better with time are usually not a cause of concern, more frequent episodes of urine leakage that affect your daily activities definitely warrant a trip to the doctor as they might indicate the presence of more serious diseases and infections that tend to worsen with time in the absence of treatment.
Incontinence may arise due to a number of factors such as stress, neuropathic diseases or trauma and are named accordingly. Pregnancy and constipation can also cause temporary urinary incontinence.
An overactive bladder leads to a feeling of urgency to urinate. It occurs due to sudden involuntary contractions of the muscles in the walls of the bladder, resulting in frequent urination and a sudden urge to urinate.
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It is a medical condition that arises due to injury, illness, ageing, certain diseases and even stroke or nerve diseases. An overactive bladder is usually treated with the use of medication to improve incontinence and through oral or vaginal administration of estrogen in postmenopausal women.
Infections And Kidney Disease
Vaginal infections, bladder infections or urinary tract infections also result in bladder problems. They are characterized by an urgent need to urinate, pain and discomfort during urination, inability to pass urine, inability to empty the bladder completely, a progressively weak urine stream and even the presence of blood in urine.
Kidney diseases also produce symptoms of bladder problems in women. It is important to treat the kidney diseases and infections at the earliest to prevent their spread to other organs and to relieve the symptoms.
Interstitial cystitis refers to the inflammation of the bladder wall, often resulting in pain in the bladder, incontinence and frequent, urgent need to urinate. It is more common in older women and is usually treated through lifestyle changes, exercises, nerve stimulation and medication.
Prolapsed bladders or fallen bladders often result due to the weakening of the vaginal wall which is no longer capable of supporting the urinary bladder, causing the bladder to prolapse and descend into the vagina. The condition leads to pain and discomfort during urination and stress incontinence.
It is more common in postmenopausal women who lack in estrogen that is responsible for strengthening the muscles of the vagina. The condition is usually treated through estrogen replacement therapy, surgical and non-surgical treatment options.
Pelvic exercises are quite effective in strengthening the bladder muscles and help in overcoming bladder weakness to control mild to moderate urinary incontinence. However, more serious underlying diseases that result in bladder problems need medical attention and should be treated on an urgent basis to prevent further deterioration of the condition. Avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol can also help in controlling the symptoms of bladder problems.
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