Laughing until you have tears in your eyes? Good! Laughing until you feel urine leakage? Not so good. Leaking urine when you laugh suddenly or heartily is common, but it’s never normal. In fact, it’s a telltale sign of urinary incontinence, a condition characterized by loss of bladder control.
Up to a third of American adults suffer urinary incontinence, and experts estimate that number may be even higher. Why? Because many people are too embarrassed to bring up their symptoms with their doctor.
If you’ve experienced leaking urine when you laugh, don’t ignore it. Urinary incontinence is treatable, and our team at SWFL Integrative Medicine in Fort Myers, Florida can help. Heather Auld, MD, specializes in women’s wellness, and that includes treating urinary incontinence to restore your confidence.
Leaking when you laugh: a common sign of urinary incontinence
Involuntary leakage is the main symptom of urinary incontinence. However, when and how that leakage occurs varies depending on the type of incontinence you have.
The four main types of incontinence are:
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Mixed incontinence
If you leak urine when you laugh, you might have stress incontinence. Weak pelvic floor muscles contribute to stress incontinence, causing leakage with sudden pressure on your bladder. You may also notice leakage when you cough, sneeze, exercise, or lift heavy objects.
Urge incontinence causes sudden, intense urges to urinate. Often, involuntary urine leakage follows these urges. This type of incontinence is also called overactive bladder (OAB), and it can make you fearful that you won’t make it to the toilet in time to urinate.
Overflow incontinence makes you unable to fully empty your bladder. It can leave you feeling like you need to urinate even after you just used the toilet, and it may cause a constant, steady dribble.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of other types. It’s very common, and many people experience symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
What to do about urinary incontinence symptoms
At SWFL Integrative Medicine, we know incontinence symptoms are embarrassing. But you should never avoid discussing your symptoms with your health care team because we’re here to help.
Dr. Auld and our team provide compassionate care for urinary incontinence. We diagnose your condition with a thorough exam, then choose from a range of treatment options to create your personalized plan.
For many people, a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments effectively reduces their incontinence symptoms. Lifestyle changes can include scheduled toilet trips, managing fluid intake, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Medical treatment often involves physical therapy to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles. Other options include prescription medication to relax bladder muscles or estrogen hormone replacement therapy for menopause-related incontinence symptoms.
No matter your symptoms, treatment can help restore the confidence you’ve lost due to urinary incontinence. Schedule a confidential consultation at our Fort Myers, Florida office by calling 239-208-6676 or request an appointment online now.