(KCBD) - It was a topic nobody ever talked about. But now, commercials are breaking the ice with women openly discussing LBL, or light bladder leakage.
Dr. Charles Thompson, a Texas Tech Physician who specializes in the problem, says rather than isolate yourself in fear of an accident, there are two good over the counter medications that could help.
One is not a pill. It's a medicated patch for women called oxytrol.
Dr. Thompson says, "It's patch that women can wear on the abdomen or buttocks. This is the same medication we give as a prescription in an oral form. The nice thing about the patch is it does the same thing the oral prescription does, yet it has fewer side effects."
The patch, he says, brings less constipation, less dry mouth, less dry eyes.
Dr. Thompson says the second over the counter medication he would recommend is called Prelief which acts on the bladder to reduce muscle spasms that may trigger leakage.
Both are available over the counter, requiring no prescription.
It's a win win situation, he says, because immediately, you're saving money by avoiding a doctor visit and skipping the prescription.
If the over the counter remedies help, you can get yourself back into a more active social life without the fear of a bladder accident.
If you have tried OTC help but still have problem, that's when you need to see a doctor.
Dr. Thompson says don't be afraid to tell your doctor about bladder leakage. He says it is an incredibly common problem affecting 40% of women and 15% of men.
But nobody can help you unless you talk about it.
Although childbirth can lead to bladder trouble later, there are many more reasons for the problem.
Dr. Thompson says women and men who are elite athletes may end up with bladder leakage due to pressure.
He says they see it in marathon runners and weight lifters among other active people.
Bottom line, Dr. Thompson says you absolutely do not have to go to a doctor to fix a bladder issue in many cases. Start by managing how much water you drink every day. He says, "Make sure you're not drowning yourself in fluids. Moderate your caffeine. Bladder problems enhance with age but it's not considered any more normal than cavities are when we eat."
In other words, don't sit and worry about a problem that could be more easily controlled than you think!
If you can't control the problem on your own, there are still other medical options.
But, he says your doctor will never be able to help you, unless you talk about it.