Experts advise women not to silently suffer from bladder leaks, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Bengaluru: November is celebrated as Bladder Health Awareness Month in India to raise awareness about bladder health. On this occasion, experts call on women not to silently experience urinary leakage, which could lead to serious complications.

Dr Rubina Shanawaz, consultant gynecologist at Fortis Hospital, said one in four women in India over the age of 35 face some kind of urinary leakage. The common misconception is that it is part of having given birth to children and the aging process. Also, it is a fact that women are embarrassed to tell their family and seek treatment options for the same, she said.

In Bangalore, the increased incidence of chronic cough due to allergies is causing more women to leak urine when coughing. Another factor is increased body mass index due to a sedentary lifestyle that puts pressure on the bladder, leading to embarrassing leaks, Dr. Rubina explained.

Women with diabetes constantly go to the toilet with dripping urine due to bladder innervation affected by high blood sugar values, she noted.

“Most of the women who approach us are used to managing the problem with sanitary pads or diapers. They also largely limit their lifestyle and avoid going out of the house to avoid embarrassing urine leakage and the associated odor .

Long-term suffering in silence without treatment can lead to vulvar skin excoriation, urinary tract infections and back-pressure effects on the kidneys, especially in diabetics,” she said.

“The utmost importance should be placed on obtaining the appropriate patient history to arrive at the exact problem that is contributing to the lack of bladder control.

The need of the hour is increased awareness among women and their caregivers of the effects of bladder leakage and the treatment options available for it,” said Dr. Rubina.

Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna, HOD and Senior Consultant, Department of Urology, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad said that “irrespective of gender, about 20-25% of people have bladder health problems in India” .

While the need to treat urological infections is very high, patients do not find appropriate help or advice for treatment. Women are reluctant to seek medical care due to the social stigma and taboo that persists in our country. There is a huge awareness required regarding UTIs and their urgent treatment, he explained.

Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna further explained that one in four women suffer from UTIs, with a lifelong risk. A woman’s urinary tract is only 3-4 cm wide and very short in length. After intercourse, or when the woman is of childbearing age, she is very prone to these infections due to the short urethra.

Once the woman enters her menopausal stage, due to physical dryness, replacement of extra bad hormone activity and estrogen deficiency in the vaginal area, the immunity of the body is naturally reduced and increases the risk of infection due to aging, he said.

Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna said that there is also an increase in urinary incontinence in India and the ratio is higher in women due to the shorter length of their urinary tract.

There are two types of incontinence – stress urinary incontinence which is caused by a loosening of the urethra and urge incontinence which is due to an overactive or irritable bladder that does not allow you to control your urine , did he declare.

When the tissues around the urethra loosen or relax, a person will not be able to hold their urine. Diabetes is another catalyst for an overall body infection that causes an irritable bladder, he said.

Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna says that for further treatment and prevention, one should follow adequate antibiotic treatment with a minimum of 5-7 days as prescribed by the doctor.

Often, because antibiotic treatment is inadequate, patients are left with residual and persistent infection and require prolonged antibiotic treatment. Women should empty their bladders after physical intercourse, he said.

Older women should check for diabetes. Patients with stress continence are advised Kegel exercises. So one should address these issues further after checking these underlined issues as prescribed by your doctor, he said.

Dr Sreeharsha Harinatha, Consultant in Urology, Uro-Oncology, Andrology, Transplantation and Robotic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, said 25-45% of adult women report occasional leakage.

Leaking urine is more common in women than in men. Awareness of urinary leakage is essential because women are reluctant to talk about their state of leakage. 80% of people with bladder leakage can be improved or cured. According to Dr. Sreeharsha Harinatha, various factors can cause bladder leakage such as obesity, childbirth, high impact exercises, caffeine or alcohol consumption and comorbidities such as diabetes, urinary tract infections and heart disease.

It is essential to understand the types of urinary incontinence – leaking urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing that puts pressure or stress on the bladder, sudden urge to urinate, overactive bladder. However, leaks can be prevented by following certain measures such as limiting caffeine intake, quitting smoking, weight loss, physical therapy and biofeedback, he explains.

For those in whom lifestyle modifications do not provide adequate relief, they would require further evaluation with tests such as urinalysis, pelvic ultrasound and urodynamic study, a-t -he declares.

Treatment is tailored to each patient’s needs and expectations based on the aforementioned symptoms and test results, Dr. Harinatha said.