Posts Tagged ‘urinary leakage’

Urinary Incontinence: Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now!

November 28, 2015

Urinary incontinence affects millions of Americans and causes havoc with their lives.  It I a source of embarrassment, shame and often depression.  Other medical consequences of incontinence include skin irritation, urinary tract infections, and pelvic pain.  This blog will discuss treatment options including medications and non-medical solutions.

Urinary incontinence means that the person suffering from it starts losing his/her control over the bladder. This leads to several kinds of problems of the urinary system including sudden urination, slow but steady leakage of urine, or dripping of urine when one undertakes a physically stressful exercise like lifting weight.  Those who have incontinence often lose urine with coughing, laughing, or sneezing.

Although this is a common medical problem, many suffers continue to suffer in silence, living a secluded and reclusive life.

While these causes cannot be controlled, it is important to take note of and control factors that can worsen the condition:


If you have a problem of urinary incontinence and the symptoms have gone from bad to worse, you need to check with your doctor about the medication or drugs you have been taking. For, chances are that some of these may be exacerbating the problem. Certain drugs to treat high blood pressure are linked to an increase in incontinence.

Alpha blockers dilate blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and they also often relax the muscles of the bladder, furthering urine flow. Some drugs to treat depression can contribute to worsening incontinence symptoms.

Anti-depressants work by relaxing the nerves of the mind and may also affect the ability of the bladder muscles to contract (side effects).

Diuretics are another set of drugs that are associated with increased

urination. In fact, these drugs are also called ‘water pills’, and are designed to flush out excess salt from your body to treat conditions like high blood pressure.


Caffeine is an important component of our daily lives as most of us consume it through coffee, tea and chocolates. Excessive consumption of caffeine is associated with the problem of increased urination. While mild consumption doesn’t have a negative effect, excess consumption can affect the renal system, as caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates the cardiovascular system, increasing the heart rate as well as blood pressure. This increases the rate of blood to be filtered. It also relaxes the bladder’s detrusor muscles, causing them to feel fuller more frequently. So, limiting caffeine intake is healthy.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern of today as it affects the functioning of the entire body. It also increases the risk of urinary incontinence, as well as its severity. Efforts should be made to prevent and control diabetes by keeping your weight under control, exercising regularly and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Excessive weight also puts extra pressure on the pelvic muscles and weakens them. Therefore, it is also important to control body weight.


Besides controlling the aforementioned factors, it is important to take medical help to treat and manage urinary incontinence.

In some patients, adopting behavioral changes may help. For example, decreasing fluid intake to average levels, urinating more frequently to decrease the amount of urine that is held in the bladder and keeping regular bowel habits (as constipation can worsen the problem) may have a positive effect.

Pelvic muscle training exercises, aka Kegel exercises, can specifically help those who suffer from incontinence. The exercises help patients exercise better control of their detrusor muscles.

Weight loss has also been shown to help decrease symptoms in overweight people.

Bottom Line:  Urinary incontinence is a common condition affecting millions of American men and women.  Help is available and no one needs to “depend on Depends”!

Gotta Go Right Now? Here’s How To Discard Your Depends For Your Next Airplane Trip

December 20, 2012
Don't Depend on Depends

Don’t Depend on Depends

Many men and women suffer from urinary incontinence making travel difficult or nearly impossible. Here are 10 tips and tricks that you might consider before your next flight to lessen the embarrassment of urinary incontinence.

1. Request an aisle seat in back of plane so you have ready access to the restroom. Reserve your seat ahead of your departure dates. Plan to go to the restroom and empty your bladder before your plane departs. Once on board the aircraft and after take off plan to use the restroom before the drink cart come down the aisle as you may be sent back to your seat before you can use the restroom.
2. Explain your medical condition to flight attendant before take-off. The flight attendant can alert you before they turn on seat belt sign making it possible for you to use the restroom. The attendant can help you get off plane for connecting flight if you are at the back the plane.
3. Be aware that you cannot use the bathroom during ascent (short) and descent (long)
4. Wear adult diaper or protective underwear for the trip. You should have a carry-on duffel bag with extra undergarments, pads, antibacterial soap, and an empty plastic bag for soiled clothing.
5. Be mindful of your fluids. It is not a good idea to dehydrate yourself for long periods before departure. To do so will lead to a concentrated urine which is irritating to the bladder and may promote bladder contractions. Drink 6 cups of fluid per day but time it appropriately to your flight departure.
6. Avoid bladder irritants (coffee, alcohol, carbonate drinks, artificial sweeteners, citrus)
7. Suppress the urge by doing Turbo Kegels, which I will describe in the next blog.
8. Voiding by the clock. Don’t wait for your bladder to become full or over distended. Urinate every 2-3 hours especially on long flights.
9. Take your medications prescribed by your doctor. I suggest that you make sure to take at least for 2 weeks before travel
10. Use a waterproof skin barrier ointment (zinc oxide) to protect skin if you do have frequent accidents

Bottom Line: If you have urinary incontinence, you may have problems with airline travel. Applying a few of these principles may just make that flight more enjoyable and less stressful.

For more information on urinary incontinence, I recommend my new book,
The Complete Guide To Women’s Pelvic Health which is available at

New book on women's health

New book on women’s health