November is Bladder Health Awareness Month!

Many of us don't think about our bladders but this month serves as a reminder to get the facts and information about bladder health conditions. It is time to take an active role in the care needed for our bladder health.

Billions of men and women across the world are struggling with the impacts associated with bladder diseases and conditions. Let's face it together and discuss some of the conditions many of us find difficult or uncomfortable to talk about.

1. Urinary Incontinence:

Involuntary leakage of urine is called urinary incontinence. One may experience symptoms ranging from slight leakage to total emptying of the bladder. There are a few types of incontinence:

-Stress Incontinence: This occurs when stress is exerted on the bladder due to activities such as coughing, laughing, or exercising which leads to urine leakage.
-Urge Incontinence: Often referred to as overactive bladder (OAB), the condition causes a strong and sudden urge to urinate and one may not find a restroom in time.
-Overflow Incontinence: This results in the inability to fully empty your bladder leading to urine dribbles and leakage.
-Functional Incontinence: In this condition, people are aware of the need to urinate but physical or mental conditions such as impaired mobility or dementia prevent them from getting to the restroom in time.

2. Interstitial Cystitis:

Also called painful bladder syndrome, it is a chronic condition causing pain, bladder pressure, and even pelvic pain. The urination signals that are sent from the bladder to the brain get mixed up and one ends up with the urge to urinate with smaller volumes. One might experience mild to severe and constant to periodic pain due to triggered flare-ups.

The symptoms of IC include:

-The constant urgent need to urinate
-Pain between the scrotum and anus for men, and between the vagina and anus for women.
-Pain as the bladder fills and relief after urinating
-Pelvic pain
-Frequent urination, up to 60 times per day
-Pain during sexual intercourse

3. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):

Urinary Tract Infections occur in any part of the urinary system (more often lower urinary tract), including the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and uterus. UTIs more commonly occur in women since they have shorter urethras, which make the introduction of bacteria into the urinary tract very easy. These infections are caused by wiping the anus from back to front, bringing the bacteria forward.

The symptoms of UTI include:

-Frequent urge to urinate
-A burning sensation while urinating
-Urine that smells odd or appears cloudy, dark, or bloody
-Passing frequent small amounts of urine
-Pain and pressure in the lower back or abdomen
-Having a fever or chills

4. Nocturia:

Frequent urination during the night is referred to as nocturia. The urge to urinate that wakes you up at night more than two times is caused by this disorder. The condition is more common in men and women over the age of 60. But can also occur at any age due to childbirth, an enlarged prostate, or menopause. Besides, it can be a symptom of other conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea.

5. Bladder Cancer:

Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder. Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage when the cancer is highly treatable. There are three main types:

-Transitional Cell Carcinoma
-Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The symptoms include:

-Urgent urination
-Blood in urine
-Frequent urination
-Lower back pain
-Abdominal pain
-Weight loss

Fortunately, one can avoid infections and reduce the risk of developing such urinary problems. One can improve bladder health by following some ways mentioned below:

-Don’t wait long to use the bathroom
-Do not rush when emptying your bladder
-Urinate after having intercourse
-Drink enough water throughout the day
-Avoid food or drinks that contain irritants
-Avoid constipation by adding fiber to your diet

If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection, do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider.

Author's Bio: 

Myself Sonia and I am a health and fitness blogger. Affiliated with IndiCure Health Tours, I have been writing for the medical tourism industry as well.