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ArthurTseng | Voiding Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Voiding Disorder?

Voiding disorders is a description for any urinary problem involving the storage and removal of urine which can be due to a variety of causes, and can be part of a symptom complex associated with frequency, urgency dysuria, and so on; due to possible multiple coexisting urogynaecological conditions.

What causes Voiding Disorder?

There are several possible causes for voiding disorder, including:

The pelvic muscles and nerves can be weakened or damaged during pregnancy and childbirth, leading to urinary incontinence.

As people age, their bladder muscles tend to weaken, making it harder for them to control their urine flow.

Being overweight or obese can put pressure on the bladder, causing it to leak.

The reduction of estrogen levels during menopause can lead to the weakening of pelvic muscles and tissues, leading to urinary incontinence.

Certain health conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can affect nerve function and bladder control.

Some medications, especially diuretics, can increase urine production and lead to urinary incontinence.

UTIs can irritate the bladder and cause sudden or frequent urges to urinate, leading to urinary incontinence.

When stool builds up in the rectum, it puts pressure on the bladder, making it harder to control urine flow.

The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and control urination. Weakness in these muscles can lead to urinary incontinence.

In men, an enlarged prostate gland can put pressure on the bladder and cause it to leak.

Certain neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries or nerve damage can affect bladder control and lead to urinary incontinence.

Signs and Symptoms of Voiding Disorder

Symptoms of voiding disorder may vary depending on the specific condition, but some common signs include: 

It is essential to pay attention to these symptoms and seek medical advice if they persist.

How is voiding disorder diagnosed in Singapore?

There are several methods used by healthcare professionals in Singapore to diagnose voiding disorder. These include:

  1. Physical Examination: The first step in diagnosing a voiding disorder is usually a physical examination. This involves checking for any abnormalities in the pelvic region, such as enlarged prostate or weakened muscles.
  2. Urinalysis: A urinalysis is a laboratory test that checks for the presence of certain substances in urine, such as blood or bacteria. This can help determine if there is an underlying infection or other issue causing the voiding disorder.
  3. Urodynamic Testing: This is a series of tests used to evaluate bladder and urinary function. It involves measuring bladder pressure and flow rate while the patient urinates.
  4. Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as ultrasound, cystoscopy, or urography may be used to get a visual of the urinary tract and identify any abnormalities.
  5. Bladder Diary: This involves keeping track of daily fluid intake, urine output, and voiding habits over a period of time. This can provide valuable information about bladder function.

In addition to these diagnostic methods, a thorough medical history will also be taken by the healthcare professional. This may include questions about symptoms, lifestyle habits, and any past medical conditions or surgeries.

What are my Treatment Options for Voiding Disorder?

If you have been diagnosed with voiding disorder, your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on the underlying cause and severity of your condition. Some common treatment options for voiding disorder include:

Depending on the cause of your voiding disorder, your doctor may prescribe medications to help improve bladder function. These medications may include alpha-blockers or anticholinergics, which work by relaxing the muscles of the bladder and urinary tract.

If your voiding disorder is severe and you are unable to empty your bladder on your own, your doctor may recommend catheterisation. This involves inserting a thin tube into your urethra to drain urine from your bladder.

In some cases, voiding disorder can be improved through behavioral changes. This may include scheduled bathroom breaks, pelvic floor exercises, and bladder training techniques.

For individuals with nerve damage causing their voiding disorder, nerve stimulation may be an effective treatment option. This involves using electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves that control bladder function.

A behavioural technique that involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom breaks to train your bladder to hold more urine. This can help improve bladder control and reduce symptoms of voiding disorder.

Strengthening the muscles in your pelvic floor can help improve bladder control and alleviate symptoms of voiding disorder. Your healthcare provider may refer you to a physical therapist who specialises in pelvic floor exercises.

In addition to medical treatments, making certain lifestyle changes can also help improve symptoms of voiding disorder. This may include reducing fluid intake before bedtime, avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct underlying structural problems that are causing voiding disorder. This may involve repairing nerve damage or removing obstructions in the urinary tract.

Your doctor will discuss the most suitable treatment option for your specific condition.

What complications may arise?

If left untreated, voiding disorder can lead to various complications. In some cases, the constant strain on the bladder and urinary tract can result in infections, such as urinary tract infections or kidney infections.

Voiding disorder can also significantly impact one’s daily life, causing embarrassment and social isolation. Patients may feel embarrassed to engage in activities that involve being away from a bathroom for an extended period, such as traveling or attending social events.

Voiding disorders are a prevalent issue that can greatly affect your quality of life. If you notice any symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. Our doctor is ready to offer the necessary treatment and guidance for your well-being.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your current treatment plan or starting any new medications.

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