Bladder Health Awareness Month
Axia Women’s Health joins the American Urological Association, the National Association for Continence, the Urology Care Foundation, and countless others in recognizing November as Bladder Health Awareness Month. An estimated 33 million+ Americans suffer from problematic bladder conditions. Affecting women in their twenties and becoming increasingly more common with each decade of life, the very private nature of these bladder issues prevents the open dialogue needed to seek help. This notion of thinking about it but not acting on it is often called “bladder on the brain”—and is arguably the biggest challenge to bladder health that women face.
It is critical to overcome the social stigma associated with bladder function and take an honest look at common bladder health issues women encounter, as well as understand what the steps to improve bladder health look like. It is important to note that, while informing yourself is a necessary and key first step, learning more about your unique bladder health concerns with the guidance of a Urogynocologist can give you the answers you need to live comfortably and confidently.
Let’s help by identifying some of the conditions that our patients most frequently encounter.
What Are Common Bladder Issues & How Are They Addressed?
While some of these conditions are more serious than others, the sheer number of people who are affected by each of these is staggering. Your first, best step is to inform your doctor if you have even the slightest notion that something is not as it should be. Some of the most common conditions are:
- Urinary incontinence – This common condition is also known as loss of bladder control, which is experienced by one in three women in the U.S., and can have a number of causes. The triggers for incontinence are sometimes physical movement like coughing, sneezing, or exercises. Sometimes the urge to void is so sudden or so strong there is not enough time to make it to the restroom. As such, treating incontinence is highly specific to each patient and will involve a series of urine tests, physical examinations, and even a patient-observed survey, where you will track urinary and bladder function as a part of your doctor’s overall treatment program.
- Overactive bladder – Nearly 43% of women in the U.S. experience overactive bladder. Common symptoms of overactive bladder include sudden urges to void, frequent inconvenient trips to the bathroom, and sometimes incontinence as there is not enough time to get to the bathroom in time. Overactive bladder is a specific type of incontinence that can be the symptom of a number of causes. A bit simply, overactive bladder is a condition in which urine is expelled at the ‘wrong’ time. Diagnosing the causes of overactive bladder is typically a process that combines urine testing and physical examinations (to identify physical/muscle related influences). Again, the varied nature of the condition strongly suggests you begin speaking to a specialist if you encounter these issues.
- Cystitis – This is an inflammation of the bladder and surrounding area. Often caused by an infection, your doctor will most likely review the results of a urine sample or bacterial culture to look for bacteria, blood, or pus in the sample. This is most commonly treated with antibiotics.
- Interstitial cystitis – This is a more serious, and thankfully less common, form of cystitis where you feel chronic pressure or even pain in your bladder, and urinating doesn’t relieve the pressure, as you only produce a small amount of urine. Diagnosing this issue typically involves a combination of physical examinations and urine testing.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
An area often associated with bladder health is the pelvic floor. Weakening of these muscles can lead to urinary leakage, accidental bowel leakage and pelvic organ prolapse. Axia’s own Dr. Donald DeBrakeleer recently shared an in-depth, two-part exploration of the facts, myths, causes, and treatments of two of the most common pelvic floor disorders in a series of webinars. If you weren’t able to join us, we invite you to click on the links below to watch these informative free sessions:
Part 1: Urinary Incontinence: Regaining Control Of Your Bladder & Lifestyle
Part 2: Overcoming Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Should you experience any of these conditions, or have any questions about your own bladder issues, we strongly encourage you to speak to your Axia OB/GYN or urogynecologist and take those crucial first steps toward the active, healthy lifestyle you may be missing.
It cannot be emphasized enough that bladder challenges are one of the more common health issues experienced by women of all ages in our country, and therefore, you should not feel embarrassed to seek help. Let this monthly remembrance of Bladder Health Awareness Month be the nudge you need to take control of your bladder and gynecological health!
Meet our board-certified urogynecologists, or speak with your Axia OB/GYN today to regain control of your bladder issues.
Jose Maceda, MD | Donald DeBrakeleer, MS, DO, FACOG, FPMRS
Join us this Thursday at 6 PM for a webinar with Gina Cunningham, Director of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Program at Axia's Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Health to learn ways to improve and maintain your pelvic floor health.
Register today by clicking the link in our bio! ...
Pelvic floor health is an essential part of women's health. We're so proud of the Director of our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Gina Cunningham, who supported this bill to help advocate for women. We're so lucky to have providers that continue to lead the way in women's health!
#pelvicfloorPT #pelvicfloorhealth #pelvicfloorphysicaltherapy #pelvicfloorawareness ...
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Gina Cunningham, Director of the Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Program at Axia Women's Health, recently spoke with The Zoe Report on how physical therapy can help with pelvic floor disorders from bladder leaks to pain and tightness. Visit link in bio to learn more.🔗
#pelvicfloorhealth #pelvicfloor #pelvicfloorphysicaltherapy #pelvicfloorphysicaltherapists ...
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Hormones known as prostaglandins can trigger these painful muscle spasms as they cause the muscles in your pelvic floor and rectum to contract. Taking a warm bath, taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen, and pelvic floor physical therapy can help! 🛀Visit link in bio to learn more. 🔗
#periodcramps #periodpain #periodproblems #menstruation #menstrualcycle #menstrualhealth #whatsupdownthere ...
Let's talk about…bladder health! We're excited to chat with Nicole Waetzman, Director of Axia Women's Health Bladder and Pelvic Health Outreach program, next week about all things bladder health. We'll be busting common myths surrounding bladder health and shedding light on common conditions and how to treat them. Have a question for Nicole? Drop it in the comments below or DM us and we'll be sure to address it during the live discussion. ...
We're excited to chat with Gina Cunningham, Director of Axia's Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Program, next week about all things pelvic floor health. 💬 We'll be covering how to find and activate your pelvic floor muscles, the role that stress can play in pelvic floor dysfunction, and how physical therapy can help! 📢 Have a question for Gina? ❔Drop it in the comments below or DM us and we'll be sure to address it during the live discussion. 👇🏻
#pelvicfloor #pelvicfloorphysicaltherapy #womenshealth #iglivestream ...
We're honored to be featured in Philadelphia Magazine's Be Well Philly 2022 print issue discussing the importance of pelvic floor health.👏🏻 If it seems like you've been hearing more about your pelvic floor lately, it's true! While more public attention has been placed on pelvic floor health, there's still much to be done. We're proud to be a part of this growing field of medicine and arming women with the info they need to feel comfortable discussing their concerns with their provider. 🙋🏽♀️Visit link in bio to read the full story!
#pelvicfloor #pelvicfloorphysicaltherapy #bladderhealth #pelvichealth #pepvicfloorhealth ...