HCA Midwest Health - November 01, 2017

The experts at HCA Midwest Health tackle some of the top bathroom topics:

1. Sometimes it feels like my bladder is going to fall out.
You might be experiencing pelvic prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse is kind of a herniation of the organs that are supported by the vagina. Prolapse occurs when these organs protrude into the vaginal canal. The protruding organ could be the bladder, the small intestine, the uterus, or the rectum. Check out Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse to see if you have other symptoms.

2. What the heck is a kegel, and why do I need to do them?
Kegels help more than 80% of women with stress incontinence (the leak-when-you-sneeze type). The trick is working the right muscles. Find the muscles you use to stop urinating. Squeeze these muscles for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds. Your stomach and thigh muscles should not tighten when you do this. Add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds each time. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per session. Try to do this at least 3 times a day. It may take 3 or 4 months to notice improvement. Don’t do Kegels while you urinate – this can hurt your bladder.

3. Why do I pee when I sneeze?
Stress incontinence occurs when there is unexpected leakage of urine caused by pressure or sudden muscle contractions on the bladder. This often occurs during exercise, heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Stress incontinence is the most common bladder control problem in young and middle-aged women. The condition may be due to an inherent weakness of the pelvic floor muscles or an effect from the changes that occur in pelvic support after childbirth. In menopausal women, stress incontinence can begin to occur because a drop in estrogen can cause weakening of the pelvic floor. Check out Urinary Incontinence for tips on managing incontinence.

4. It hurts when I have sex.
Sex is supposed to be pleasurable and intimate, and yet nearly three out of four women will experience painful intercourse, otherwise known as dyspareunia, at some point in their lives. Not all pain is permanent, but it’s important to learn how to deal with it for your sake, and your partner’s. Check out Pain During Sex for possible causes and what may help.

5. Why do I always have that “gotta go” feeling?
Urgency incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles/support
  • Nerve damage that affects bladder control
  • Interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder inflammation) or other bladder conditions
  • A disability or limitation that makes it difficult to get to the toilet quickly
  • Side effects from a prior surgery
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely and it overflows as new urine is produced

Check out Urinary Incontinence for tips on managing incontinence.

6. Why is my poop green?
Food may be moving through your large intestine too quickly. Or you could have eaten lots of green leafy veggies, or green food coloring. Check out Know Your Poop for more.

7. We’ve got your back(side).
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., but it typically doesn’t show symptoms in its early stages. That’s why screening is so important. As a partner in your health, we’re reminding you to make your health a priority. With convenient locations, various screening options and care tailored to your needs, we can help you kick colon cancer in the backside. Take a colon cancer risk assessment.

8. I can’t wait to have a colonoscopy…not!
Let’s face it, no one looks forward to a colonoscopy. Aside from a disruption in your life and a reminder that you are, in fact, mortal—the whole idea of a colonoscopy to most people is just, well, yuck! But here’s the thing—it’s your single best defense against colon and rectal cancer, which are #4 on the most common types of cancer list. An estimated 135,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2017 and it will be the cause of roughly 50,000 deaths. If you’ve heard horror stories about colonoscopy prep from people who had the procedure years ago—you are getting a very outdated picture. It isn’t as bad as you think. Check out Getting a Colonoscopy to get the whole picture.

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