Bladder Control for Women
Why Talk About Bladder Control?
Women of all ages have bladder control problems. Some younger women find they can't hold their urine after having a baby. Others have problems when they stop having periods. Many women over the age of 75 also have bladder control problems.
You may feel ashamed about bladder control problems. Remember that it's a medical problem and it's not your fault. Millions of women have the same problem.
Don't believe people who tell you that urine leakage is normal. It isn't. Most of the time it can be improved.
Your health care team can help you. Nearly everyone with a bladder control problem can be helped. Call your clinic and find out how.
Where Can You Go for Help?
You can do many things to help improve your bladder control. Talk to your family doctor or nurse.
If you have a more difficult case, you may need to see a urologist. Urologists are experts in bladder and urine problems. Some urologists specialize in the female urinary tract.
A gynecologist is a doctor who treats problems of the female system. Your gynecologist also can help you with bladder control. Your doctor also might want you to see a urogynecologist. Urogynecologists treat women's bladder and urine problems.
You also can get help from a urology or continence nurse. Visiting home nurses can help you learn about bladder control. Some physical therapists help people with pelvic muscle exercise programs.
Check with your insurance plan about payment for these services. You may need a referral from your regular doctor.
If you feel shy about calling a doctor or nurse, maybe a support group can help you. Some groups will talk to you on their toll-free number. Others have free or inexpensive brochures and videos about bladder control. Support groups and patient organizations are listed at the end of this brochure.
What Does the Doctor Need to Know?
You will need to keep a record. Try to write down the times when you go to the bathroom. Write down when you have accidents, too. Do this for a day or more. This record is called a bladder control diary. Diaries help your doctor or nurse learn the cause of your problem.