Maintaining a healthy bladder is a critical component of reproductive health and wellness. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we have considerable experience helping our patients diagnose and treat several of the most common bladder issues for women. In honor of Bladder Health Awareness Month this November, we wanted to discuss a few of the more common bladder health concerns we diagnose and treat, and offer some tips on how women can potentially avoid them.
For many women, a urinary tract infection (UTI) is the first thing that comes to mind when considering bladder health. That’s because UTIs are so common. These infections occur when bacteria enters and grows inside part of the urinary tract (which includes the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys). They can occur as a result of vaginal intercourse, holding in pee for too long, taking certain forms of birth control, and using some types of feminine products.
Urinary incontinence is another of the main bladder issues for women to be aware of. This condition affects women who experience unwanted and uncontrollable urine leakage. It’s important for women to know that there are different types of urinary incontinence that can be triggered in different ways. For instance, stress urinary incontinence causes an involuntary loss of urine after or during mild physical activities like laughing, sneezing, or exercising. Whereas overflow incontinence can affect women who are unable to fully empty their bladder during urination or mixed incontinence which can combine multiple different symptoms of other types of urinary incontinence.
We recommend the following tips to help women promote good bladder health:
- Exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy body weight and reduce fluid retention that can lead to incontinence symptoms.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help effectively flush the system of unhealthy bacteria that lead to infections like UTIs. However, drinking too much (especially at night) can potentially trigger incontinence symptoms, so keep tabs on your intake and adjust if necessary.
- Make an effort to empty the bladder completely during urination.
- Performing Kegel exercises routinely can help strengthen the pelvic muscles and potentially ease urinary incontinence.
- Keep a bladder diary and note any trends that may be able to help a healthcare provider diagnose any potential bladder issues.
Thankfully, these bladder conditions can be effectively treated. For more information on what you can do to promote a healthy bladder or to request a gynecology consultation appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow along with us on Facebook for additional news, health tips, and much more. And check out our full-service med spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram.