Millions of Americans live with bladder and urinary-related issues, such as urinary incontinence or being unable to fully empty the bladder. For instance, nearly a third of all men and women in the U.S. have experienced some level of urinary incontinence. What you may not know is that some medical conditions can sometimes cause these urinary problems.
Because urinary problems are still somewhat taboo to talk about, many people are unaware that they’re not the only ones dealing with these issues. Few people fully understand how certain medical conditions may go hand-in-hand with bladder and urinary issues.
That’s why 180 Medical, a leading provider of intermittent catheter supplies, wants to help improve public knowledge on these conditions. Let’s discuss some common conditions as well as potential treatment options.
Common Conditions Related to Bladder and Urinary Problems
So what disorders can affect the bladder? While some medical issues are very visible and are commonly known to affect the bladder, such as spinal cord injuries, others are invisible. Here are some of the more common conditions to know about.
Neurogenic bladder, which is one of the more common urinary problems, can impact people with all types of medical conditions that affect the nerves of the body. For example, people with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, or spinal cord injury may deal with neurogenic bladder. This is primarily due to nerve damage or non-functioning nerves due to a congenital disability, such as spina bifida
So how does neurogenic bladder cause urinary problems?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, when someone has a neurogenic bladder, that means the nerves that carry signals from the brain no longer work properly. This may cause urinary incontinence or urine leakage if the muscles don’t get the message to hold urine in the bladder. Also, it could cause urinary bladder retention, which can happen when the bladder muscles don’t release urine when it’s time.
Pelvic Floor Weakness or Prolapse
Urinary incontinence is more common in women than in men. Experts believe this may be due in large part to pelvic floor weakness or pelvic organ prolapse after pregnancy, childbirth, and/or menopause. In fact, up to 60% of women with pelvic organ prolapse also have some degree of urinary incontinence.
Additionally, a weak pelvic floor often goes hand in hand with stress incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence is a typically light release of urine due to stress or pressure on the bladder. This can happen when laughing, coughing, exercising, or sneezing.
Cancer and subsequent surgeries and treatments can affect the body in a variety of ways. This may also impact the bladder’s function, especially when cancer is in the bladder, prostate, or other surrounding areas or organs of the body.
Bladder cancer and related treatments can cause urinary issues, such as incontinence. Plus, if the bladder is removed, the affected individual may have to undergo urostomy surgery and use urostomy supplies.
On the other hand, some elect to have an Indiana pouch, which is a pouch made of intestinal tissue that acts as a new bladder. Those with an Indiana pouch will then use intermittent urinary catheters to empty their pouch on a regular basis throughout the day.
Additionally, some other cancer-related surgeries and therapies can have long-lasting effects on the urinary tract, such as chemotherapy. For example, radiation therapy in the pelvic area (reproductive organs, bladder, colon, rectum, prostate, etc.) can impact the bladder and its nerves, which can lead to urinary retention or incontinence. These issues are often temporary; however, some people may need to use catheters until the effects have cleared up.
Over half of all males above 60 may be living with an enlarged prostate. This condition is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
But how does BPH cause urinary problems?
The prostate is a small walnut-shaped reproductive gland below the bladder. It also wraps around the urethra so when the prostate gets larger, it can sometimes block the flow of urine. This may cause urinary retention, although sometimes men may also experience overflow incontinence. This is a form of urinary incontinence that occurs when the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Then urine will leak throughout the day.
Men with enlarged prostates commonly use intermittent catheters to help drain their bladder. Sometimes, the enlarged prostate can cause an obstruction to the bladder, which may keep straight tip catheters from passing through the urethra to the bladder easily. Some men may find that a coudé tip catheter passes more easily around obstructions like this.
However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what type of catheter they recommend.
How To Treat Urinary Problems
Are you dealing with unusual symptoms such as:
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Increased frequency or urgency to urinate
- A feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder
- Urine leakage (incontinence)
- Not being able to reach the bathroom in time
If so, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Don’t be afraid to address any issues you’re having, even if you feel a little embarrassed or nervous. Your healthcare professional is there to help you. Plus, they can figure out the root cause of your urinary issues.
Next, they’ll likely recommend a treatment plan, which may or may not include clean intermittent catheterization. Sometimes, these issues are mild enough that some simple lifestyle changes, such as incorporating regular pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine, can be enough. Other issues may require the use of prescription medication or other treatments, including surgery.
Many times, all that’s needed is a good bladder management program, which may include the daily use of catheters to make sure your bladder is fully empty.
Need Catheters? Contact 180 Medical.
If you need intermittent catheter supplies, your next step is to find a trustworthy catheter company. From the beginning, 180 Medical has specialized in providing high-quality catheters for people with all types of conditions that can impact the bladder.
Our Product Specialists know our product range inside and out, so they can help you narrow down your options from our wide range of catheter types and brands. Plus, we only employ people with compassionate hearts who truly care about our customers. We go above and beyond to take care of our customers.
Whether you’re looking for a new and more reliable catheter company or you’re brand new to using catheter supplies, 180 Medical is here for you.
Contact us when you’re ready to get started. We’re happy to help you find the catheter that will work and feel best for you.