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Bladder Control Problems

It may feel too embarrassing to bring up bladder control problems with your doctor, but treatment options can make an immediate difference and greatly improve your quality of life. The key is to seek help from your doctor as soon as you feel that bladder problems may be affecting your health, restricting your lifestyle or even putting you at physical risk as you frequently rush to the restroom.

Beaumont Urology has physicians who are fellowship trained in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology. We provide leading edge technologies to manage bladder control problems. Urologists at Beaumont are national leaders in the management of voiding dysfunction using the latest technology including Botox injection into the bladder, sacral nerve stimulation and stimulation of the nerve in the ankle to control bladder function. Beaumont urologists were the first in the United States to use adult human stem cells to treat stress urinary incontinence. Beaumont is one of only 10 centers in the country to have an accredited fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology.

What is a Bladder Control Problem?

The term “Bladder Control Problem” describes any kind of difficulty you may have controlling urination, from occasional leakage or “weak bladder” to more serious conditions like incontinence and overactive bladder (OAB).

How common are Bladder Control Problems?

Bladder control problems are fairly common in the United States, but because of the stigma associated with them, they often go untreated:

  • 17 million people in the United States have daily bladder control problems
  • One-third of men and women age 30 to 70 have experienced loss of bladder control at some point in their lives
  • More than 25 million men and women suffer from incontinence
  • 75 to 80 percent of all incontinence sufferers are women
  • 33.3 million men and women suffer from overactive bladder, with only 50 percent seeking treatment
  • In 2010, 211,000 women had some type of surgery for stress incontinence

While bladder control problems are typically associated with getting older, they actually occur in all age groups. Thirty-six percent of women between the ages of 20 and 45 suffer from overactive bladder, with one-in-five adults over 40 affected by OAB. The statistics may be even higher for women under 40 ⎯ on average, women wait 6.5 years from the first time they experience symptoms of bladder control problems until they obtain a diagnosis from their doctor.

What causes Bladder Control Problems?

The most common causes of bladder control problems are neurological. In order for your bladder to work correctly, nerves in your body need to control the right muscles, telling your bladder when to hold urine and when to release it. These signals can be disrupted by a number of different factors, such as age, medical history or behaviors like drinking too much caffeine or alcohol.

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence describes a loss of control so complete that your bladder empties before you can reach the bathroom, but depending on the underlying cause, various options may be available to treat or at least mitigate the condition. It is important to keep in mind, however, that incontinence is almost always caused by an underlying condition which needs to be diagnosed and treated before the incontinence itself can be addressed.

Learn more about diagnosing and treating Incontinence.

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?

OAB occurs when signals between the bladder and the brain are disrupted, resulting in frequent and false warnings that the bladder is full or warnings that come too late for a person to reach the restroom in time. OAB causes interruption of sleep and frequent or unintentional urination.

Learn more about Overactive Bladder.

What Is Adult Bedwetting (Enuresis)?

Bedwetting is typically associated with young children, but it can also affect adults, where it can not only be frustrating, but an indication of a more serious condition.

Learn more about adult bedwetting.

Learn more about childhood bedwetting and the Beaumont GROW (Get Rid of Wetness) program.

What is Frequent Nighttime Urination (Nocturia)?

Frequent Nighttime Urination (also called “Nocturia” or “Nycturia”) refers to an excessive need to wake up and urinate over the course of a single night.

Learn more about Frequent Nighttime Urination.

What is Urinary Leakage?

Urinary leakage refers to the involuntary release of small amounts of urine. It is completely natural to occasionally experience urinary leakage, but if it becomes a regular occurrence, it can often be treated. Most importantly, recurring urinary leakage can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.

Learn more about how recurring Urinary Leakage can be treated.