Healthwise: Putting a stop to bladder leakage

Healthwise: Putting a stop to bladder leakage
(Source: WTVM)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Overactive bladder is not just a problem for women over age 40. It can frustrate women in their 20s and 30s too.

Dr. Melissa Sanford is a Texas Tech Urologist who specializes in female pelvic medicine. She says managing the bladder starts with understanding what you drink because diuretics like sodas and coffee make you produce more urine. "Usually if people are drinking a lot of bladder irritants like caffeine, coffee, tea, soda, alcohol or artificial sweeteners. These are all things that will make you have to go to the bathroom more often.”

We’ve all seen the animated bladder in commercials chasing women into the bathroom.

Dr. Sanford says there is so much that can be done to fix that problem. She says if behavioral therapies don’t work, then a good place to start is the drug store where some women may benefit by an over-the-counter patch. “There are definitely patches that are available over the counter. It’s a drug we have used for a very long time. It’s called oxybutynin. The patch is called Oxytrol. It’s worth a try if you want to try something over the counter. I usually tell people to try behavioral things first before start on medication. But if you’ve adjusted your fluids, not drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol or artificial sweeteners and still having urgency, rush to get to the bathroom and leak on the way there, by all means try a patch.”

However, she explains in the interview that the patch will not work for another common reason for bladder leakage. Again, there are still options for that also.

Bottom line, Dr. Sanford says when you have difficulty managing the bladder on your own, it’s best to start with getting advice from your primary physician. That may include a referral to a Urologist. There is much that can be done to put women on the road to living comfortably without any concern about bladder leakage.


Healthwise: Dr. Melissa Sanford, Urologist

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