Bladder Leakage Solutions for Incontinence
Incontinence is uncomfortable and concerning regardless of the severity of leaks. Chances are, you have wondered if it is even possible to reduce or stop bladder leakage. Bladder leakage solutions range from simple leak management to more complex permanent solutions. But what causes those dreadful leaks anyway? And what are your options for solving or managing urinary incontinence?
You have more choices than you probably realize.
Many people choose to handle a leaky bladder with discreet incontinence products, but it can be overwhelming to determine which product will work best for you. That’s why we’ve included in this guide an overview of products to help with bladder leakage.
Bladder Leakage Causes
Urinary incontinence can be temporary or persistent depending on the underlying cause.
Temporary Urinary Incontinence
You can trigger temporary bladder leakage if you consume foods that act as diuretics, which increase your urine output. Common foods and beverages that can trigger incontinence symptoms include:
- Carbonated beverages (including sparkling water)
- Spicy foods (like chili peppers)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Fruits high in citric acid
- High doses of vitamin C
If you notice one or more of these make you run to the bathroom or leak before you get there, try cutting back or eliminating the culprit to alleviate symptoms.
Temporary bladder leakage causes can also include urinary tract infections (UTIs) and constipation. UTIs irritate your bladder, triggering strong urges to void. For some people, the urge overwhelms their ability to hold back the flow, resulting in leaks.
When you’re constipated, the compacted stool overly stimulates nerves in your rectum that also affect your bladder. These overactive nerves tell your bladder it’s time to void, even when it’s not. This creates sudden urges that are difficult to control and might cause bladder leakage. When you alleviate constipation, it also resolves your temporary incontinence symptoms.
Persistent Urinary Incontinence
Many times, bladder leakage solutions aren’t as simple as altering your diet or curing constipation. For many people, it’s an ongoing problem to manage or that requires a more complex solution. Bladder leakage causes that persist are often due to:
- Weakened pelvic floor muscles after childbirth
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause
- Enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer or treatments
- Obstruction in the urinary tract (i.e., tumors)
- Neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, brain tumor, stroke, or spinal injury
- An aging bladder (reduced capacity or involuntary bladder contractions)
Because incontinence can be a symptom of another underlying illness, it’s important to talk with your doctor and determine the cause of your bladder leaks.
Bladder Leakage Solutions and Treatments
If your incontinence or overactive bladder symptoms are severe, surgery could be a viable bladder leakage solution. But most doctors will consider this as a last resort, and even then, there must be a compelling reason to proceed. All surgery has its risks, and when you’re working with the delicate urinary tract, those risks are magnified. And surgery for incontinence might not relieve your symptoms to the degree you hope. Success rates for this type of surgery vary widely.
Perhaps the most common surgery to relieve incontinence is the bladder sling, which helps to keep the urethral sphincter closed during times of stress like coughing, sneezing, or exercise. The sling can relieve stress incontinence due to a severely weakened pelvic floor that doesn’t properly support your bladder.
Depending on the cause of your bladder leaks, your doctor might prescribe medication. Prescription treatment is a viable bladder leakage solution if involuntary bladder contractions, incomplete emptying, or hormonal changes trigger incontinence symptoms.
Common medications include:
- Mirabegron (Myrbetriq)
- Estrogen treatments
- Tamsulosin (Flomax)
It’s important to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor, especially with long-term use.
Foods that Calm an Irritated Bladder
If your incontinence symptoms are flared up, or you think you’re suffering from a bout of temporary incontinence, you can use your diet to calm your angry bladder. These foods can help ease symptoms:
- Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.)
- Lean proteins
- Potatoes (sweet or white)
- Winter Squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)
- Green beans
Exercise for Improved Bladder Control
We’ve mentioned the pelvic floor and how it supports your bladder function. When done regularly and correctly, Kegel exercises strengthen pelvic floor muscles, supporting your bladder and tightening the urethral sphincter to help mitigate leaks. Here’s a brief guide for practicing Kegels.
Similarly, yoga has a two-fold benefit as a bladder leakage solution, relieving stress in your mind and body. Stress triggers incontinence symptoms in two ways: involuntary bladder contractions and tense muscles. When you experience prolonged stress, the chronic tightening of bladder muscles causes weakness over time. Of course, weakened muscles mean more urine leaks. Yoga helps to relieve that stress in your mind and subsequently in your body.
It also strengthens your core muscles, which include your pelvic floor.
Incontinence Products to Help with Bladder Leakage
If more permanent bladder leakage solutions don’t adequately relieve your symptoms, you can manage your symptoms with the right incontinence products. For detailed information about what to look for when purchasing products for bladder leakage, read our article, 10 Secrets to Buying the Right Incontinence Products.
Meanwhile, here is an overview of the type of products available for incontinence management.
TYE Medical has pads for light urinary leaks with an ultra-thin design. But our Ultra-Thin Pads aren’t light on absorbency or protection. Despite their comfortable and discreet fit, they feature a super-absorbent gel core to whisk away fluids quickly. They also have leakage barriers and ultimate odor control technology.
Try our Protective Underwear that pulls on rather than fastening in the front for moderate to heavy leaks. It features a super absorbent gel core, leakage barrier leg cuffs, cloth-like stretch panels, and tear-away sides for easy disposal. Pair them with our Shaped Pads to use with our Two-Piece System.
Also, for moderate to heavy leaks, our Premium Briefs work best for those who need assistance with changes or prefer adult diapers with tabs. Our briefs have a cloth-like feel and aren’t “plasticky.” They feature leakage barrier leg cuffs and secure front tab closures. These are also designed to use with our Shaped Pads as part of our Two-Piece System.
Our soft, absorbent LivDry booster pads are designed for use with our Protective Underwear or Premium Briefs. Like our Shaped Pads, booster pads add extra layers of absorbency to your protective underwear or briefs. But unlike our Shaped Pads, booster pads pass the liquid through because they don’t have a waterproof back layer. This reduces cost but also means you must change your pads very quickly or your outer products will also become soiled.
Finding the Right Bladder Leakage Solution for You
Whether your incontinence is temporary or persistent, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and seek bladder leakage solutions that work for you. If surgery and medications aren’t options for you, you can try some lifestyle changes to improve symptoms and your quality of life. Paying attention to how your diet affects bladder leaks and incorporating Kegels and yoga into your daily routine makes a notable difference, even if it doesn’t cure your bladder leaks.