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Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction - Essay

  • Date Submitted: 10/01/2012 04:56 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.5 
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Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
Bladder dysfunction and bowel dysfunction refer to problems with urinating and passing stools. These may lead to the unwanted passage of urine or stool, called urinary or fecal incontinence.
If you have these types of bladder and bowel problems, you may feel embarrassed at the thought of bringing them up with your doctor. The conditions can be physically and emotionally difficult to deal with, but you shouldn't feel uncomfortable about talking to your health care provider. Doctors are used to dealing with these issues and can help you manage the problem.
Causes of bladder and bowel dysfunction
For the bladder and bowel to function correctly, certain nerves in your body need to control the right muscles, telling them when to contract and when to release in order to allow urine and feces to be eliminated when you want them to.
This happens when the nerves in the spinal cord send messages from the brain to the bladder and sphincter muscles to control the flow of urine. The muscles within the rectum and anus help control your bowels, and sphincter muscles control or release stool.
Urinary problems

Bladder and urethra of a male (left) and female (right)
A number of conditions may affect the nerves and muscles that control the bladder and bowel, resulting in dysfunction and possible incontinence.
For the bladder, these conditions include:
• Overactive bladder. As the name suggests, you may have to go much more frequently than you would like. This can include an urgent need to urinate or having to urinate up to eight times or more a day and twice at night.
• Difficulty controlling sphincter muscles. If the nerves to these muscles have been damaged, they may not cooperate when you want to tighten or release them to pass urine.
• Holding urine in too long (urine retention). Sometimes nerve damage means that the bladder muscles don't get the chemical message that it's time for you to go. If the urine stays in the bladder too long,...

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