Going with the Flow: Understanding Overflow Incontinence and Its Symptoms
Overflow incontinence happens in people when the body can’t understand when the bladder is completely full, resulting in unexpected urine leakage. In people with overflow incontinence, it is usual for the bladder not to be completely emptied after urination.
Overflow Incontinence Symptoms
Besides sudden and unexpected leaks, patients with overflow incontinence usually experience the following symptoms:
Weak urine stream – Many sufferers of overflow incontinence have issues starting to urinate and may experience only a small amount at a time.
Urinating during the night – While sleeping, many women wake up and feel the need to urinate several times throughout the night.
Urinary tract infections – Because the bladder may not be emptying completely, bacteria can grow and infect the urinary tract.
Causes of Overflow Incontinence
Overflow incontinence is more of a male problem rather than a female. But, it is still reasonable for women to have this issue over time. In many cases, overflow incontinence is created by a weakness in the bladder muscles that can develop over a period of time. Other possible causes include:
- Bladder stones
- Previous injury to the pelvis or hip area
- Prolapse of the uterus or bladder
- Testing for Overflow Incontinence
- Patients are usually asked to keep a diary of their urinary incidents they have experienced over a set period of time. This could help the doctor see any patterns or potential causes of incontinence. Also, the following tests may be performed to further understand your condition.
Urine Volume Test
After urinating, the doctor will determine the amount of leftover urine in the bladder. A urine volume test, aka the "pee marathon," measures the amount of urine you produce in 24 hours. You'll be given a large container to collect all of your urine during that time, which is kept refrigerated to prevent bacteria growth. Abnormal results can indicate kidney problems, dehydration, or a serious need to up your water intake. So drink up, buttercup, and get ready to win that pee marathon! Just be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully for accurate results.
Bladder Pressure Test
Oh, urine for a treat! The urine volume test, also known as the 24-hour urine collection extravaganza, is a pee-rific diagnostic tool that helps assess the work of our ever-loyal kidneys. Over 24 hours, you'll become your own mad scientist, collecting all your golden liquid, which will ultimately help reveal insights into your hydration status, kidney health, and electrolyte balance. With this pee-sy test, doctors can detect and manage a variety of renal disorders, ensuring your kidneys are always in tip-top shape. So, get ready to embrace your inner collector and let the 24-hour urine party begin!
A cystoscope, a small device that can provide images to the doctor, will be inserted into the bladder so that the physician can examine the bladder and urethra.
Overflow Incontinence Treatment
Behavioral modifications, just like bladder training and Kegel exercising, may be recommended. Medication, just like alpha-blockers and anticholinergics, can also be prescribed to aid in controlling symptoms. If these options don’t seem to help, devices or surgery may be the recommended solution.
- Pessary. A ring is placed on each side of the urethra that helps support the bladder.
- Urethral Inserts. A disposable device is worn at various times throughout the day to act as a barrier against leakage. It is mostly recommended for when a patient is going to be performing physical activity.
- Pee Proof Panties from the Moon Time Store are another great solution to aid in your incontinence needs.
Surgery For Incontinence
Surgery intervention to aid with stress incontinence is usually the last resort when behavior therapies and devices don’t give you enough relief from symptoms. The main reason of the surgery will provide the bladder and urethral muscles with adequate support.