Published on June 14, 2016

Silence isn’t always golden

Particularly when you’re having bladder problems

Woman bladder controlA sudden move makes you leak urine. Or while at the movies or on a long car ride you often need to find a bathroom—right now.

Does this sound familiar? Doctors at Mercy Philadelphia help women with embarrassing or painful bladder problems all the time. And they can help you too.

“If something’s bothering you, have it checked out,” says Urologist Noah May, DO. “We can often fix it or make it much, much better.”

Common bladder blues

Bladder problems that typically plague women include:

Urinary incontinence (UI). This is a very common urologic issue among women, with several types and causes.

In one type of UI, pelvic muscles are weakened by childbirth. As a result, they can’t hold back urine when under pressure, like when you laugh or cough.

In another type, the bladder may be irritable. “You’ll have the frequent urge to urinate and not much will come out,” Dr. May notes. Triggers may include certain foods, caffeine or medications.

Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Bacteria cause these repeated infections, which often produce urgent, frequent or painful urination.

All of these problems can be treated. Options may include:

  • Behavioral changes that can help with bladder control
  • Medications that relax the bladder or fight infections
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles that hold back urine
  • Implanted devices to help support pelvic muscles or relax the bladder

“You can’t be helped, however, if you don’t seek treatment,” Dr. May says. “So don’t put off talking with your doctor if you’re having any issues with your bladder.”