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Header: Why do I experience bladder issues?

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There are many physical conditions that can lead to bladder problems - see more.

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Urinary problems can be the symptom of an underlying condition or be related to a physical disease. A wide range of conditions can cause urinary problems.

Medical conditions causing urinary issues:

  • Weakening of the pelvic floor due to childbirth or surgery
  • Enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH)
  • Prostate or bladder surgery
  • Bladder cancer
  • Damage to the nervous system (neurogenic conditions)

Urinary incontinence in itself is not part of the process of aging. Many cases can be managed through a variety of interventions. You should consult with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and recommended management options.  

Changes with age

Aging of the bladder muscle can decrease the bladder's capacity to store urine. Aging of the pelvic floor muscles may lead to a weak pelvic floor and incontinence.

Menopause

After menopause women produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. The weakening of this tissue can cause incontinence.

Pregnancy

Hormonal changes and the increased weight of the uterus can lead to stress incontinence.

Childbirth

Vaginal delivery can weaken muscles needed for bladder control and can be associated with incontinence.

Post surgery

Any surgery that involves the reproductive system may damage the supporting pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence. 

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Enlarged prostate

An enlarged prostate (BPH) is common among men above the age of 40 and can have an impact on daily life as urinary symptoms may become more frequent as the prostate grows. The problem can become very bothersome and lead to retention.   

Cancer

A tumor anywhere along the urinary tract can block the normal flow of urine, leading to overflow incontinence.

Urinary stones

Hard, stone-like masses that form in the bladder may cause urine leakage.

Neurogenic conditions

Urinary symptoms vary depending on where the neurological damage occurs and how severe it is. Neurogenic conditions include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Brain tumors

Even if your bladder problem is age-related and not coming from an underlying disease, you should still see a doctor about it.

These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization solution you are using.

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