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Overflow incontinence, bed wetting. Treatable?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I woke up and found my underwear completely wet, its not because of urine and it couldn't be sweat because I only felt wet in that region. What could be the cause of this? I am a 51 yr old female and I've been having some issues with holding both urine and other - when I have to go I have to go! WHat is this and what kind of dr should i go to to be checked? I understand as you get older there is incontinence - esp after having kids, etc. but not controlling when I sleep - and I don't even wake up - so it is not like wetting the bed w/urine
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Urinary and Bladder Problems
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You are absolutely correct in stating that as we get a little bit older there can be issues with bladder control. This can occur both consciously and unconsciously. In addition in females who have had children in the past. This can also lead to a bit of difficulty with bladder control.

What you describe overnight just recently sounds like what I would consider overflow incontinence. This can happen when the bladder becomes somewhat full and the lower muscles of the bladder which keep your ring from leaking out to become overwhelmed. This becomes a source of urine leakage while sleeping.

Another possible but unlikely source of this episode for you would be a very mild Urinary tract infections can sometimes cause a little bit of extra leakage. I suspect however that did you have been having issues with this to some degree recently there is likely more of a bladder muscle control issue going on. This is by no means serious. It does not indicate that you need any kind of surgery. In addition you are really not alone in having this concern. There is a significant percentage of females in your age group who have to deal with this kind of thing. Nowadays in medicine we have a very good options to help deal with this.

There are several different medications which have become available in the last 10 to 15 years which have really made a difference in the quality of life of males and females who suffer with bladder control issues. I suggest that you visit with your urinalysis but a consideration may be given to starting you on a trial of one of these medications which could really help improve your bladder control and significantly diminish the episodes of nighttime urine leakage which might occur in the future. These medications are very safe and effective with very minimal side effects.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my answer to be both informative and helpful. Should you have additional concerns I am available to address them.


Dr. Robert
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