November typically kicks off the beginning of the holiday season with the hustle and bustle that surrounds it. It’s usually a very busy time of year for people, especially women. Amid the errands, add one more item to the list – your bladder’s health.
November is National Bladder Health Awareness Month. Fun fact – did you know the bladder can hold 500 ml of urine? That is the equivalent to one bottle of water. Maybe that bottle can be a reminder each day to take small steps towards achieving a healthier body.
More than 33 million Americans have an overactive bladder, so you are not alone. Also, there are lifestyle adjustments that can be made to improve and attain optimal bladder health. Taking these proactive measures can help maintain a healthy bladder:
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Eliminate smoking
- Visit your doctor for any incontinence issues
No one wants to suffer with incontinence, and no one should. First, it would be best to discuss with your doctor what type of incontinence is affecting you. There are four types of incontinence which include:
- Urge Incontinence – sudden or strong urge to urinate
- Stress Incontinence – urine leaks due to weakened pelvic muscles when stress is exerted
- Functional Incontinence – mental or physical impairment
- Overflow Incontinence – inability to fully empty the bladder
One in two women over the age of 65 are impacted by stress urinary incontinence. That’s a lot of women! However, if an incontinence issue does not improve after following advised practices, there are non-surgical alternatives that are available through your healthcare professional. Bladder conditions can be treated often without medications or surgery. A non-surgical option is a pessary.
What is a pessary?
A pessary is a soft plastic or silicon vaginal insert. It’s an effective tool for managing gynecological problems including stress, urinary incontinence, cystocele, enterocele, rectocele, vaginal vault prolapse, or uterine prolapse and cerclage.
Pessaries come in a variety of styles and sizes, depending on the individual and their needs. After a complete pelvic exam, the patient will have a “fitting” using simple ring pessaries. MedGyn offers 20 pessary styles in all sizes. They are all made of soft, autoclavable silicon for easy care. A pessary remover is also available to aid patients with the safe removal of their own pessary.
This holiday season be mindful of your bladder health and take control of what seems like an uncontrollable situation. Your healthcare provider can best advise all bladder control issues to treat your body and ease your mind.
Resources: NAFC (National Assoc for Continence), NIH, Urology Care Foundation (UCF), Aeroflow Urology
November Is National Bladder Health Awareness Month! – NAFC
13 Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)
UCF Urges You to Take Control of Your Bladder Health – Urology Care Foundation (urologyhealth.org)
National Bladder Health Month | East Jordan Family Health Center (ejfhc.org)