Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Men and urinary tract infections

 Image: © KEMPSKI/Getty Images Q. What causes urinary tract infections and are men at risk for getting them? A. Although urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in women, men can get them, too. They occur when bacteria build up somewhere along your urinary tract. In men, UTIs can develop in the urethra (the tube that runs from the opening at the tip of the penis to the bladder), the bladder, the prostate, or the kidney. (Locked) More »

Anticholinergic drugs linked with dementia

Anticholinergic medications used to treat bladder conditions, Parkinson’s disease, and depression are associated with an increased risk of dementia, suggests a new study. People who got dementia had taken the medications for between four and 20 years, and the longer they took the drugs, the greater the risk. More »

Pelvic physical therapy: Another potential treatment option

The exact cause of pelvic pain for many women can be elusive, despite lots of tests and scans. In some cases, the symptoms are related to a problem that is often overlooked, says Dr. Eman Elkadry, an instructor in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. Pelvic pain may stem from a pelvic floor muscle problem that can be helped by a specialized form of physical therapy known as pelvic physical therapy. "Although pelvic physical therapy may not work for everyone, it can be quite effective for certain individuals," says Dr. Hye-Chun Hur, director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate faculty editor of Harvard Women's Health Watch. She stresses that pelvic physical therapy is normally undertaken by a trained female practitioner. The pelvic floor is essentially a bowl-shaped set of muscles that supports your bladder, bowel, rectum, and uterus. Pelvic pain sometimes occurs when muscles of the pelvic floor are too tight, says Dr. Elkadry. This causes a condition called myofascial pain, or pain caused by muscle irritation. (Locked) More »

Keeping kidney stones at bay

Kidney stones are more common in men than women, and half of people who’ve had them will have a repeat episode within 10 to 15 years. Men can reduce their risk of new and recurring kidney stones by drinking sufficient water, increasing calcium, reducing sodium intake, and avoiding or cutting back on high-oxalate foods and animal protein. (Locked) More »

Help for hemorrhoids

More than 75% of people ages 45 and older have hemorrhoids, and many of them develop symptoms, such as rectal pain, itching, and bleeding after a bowel movement. The good news is that they are rarely dangerous and often shrink on their own when aided by simple self-help and over-the-counter remedies. However, some hemorrhoids may need to be removed with in-office procedures or minor surgery. More »

What to do when medication makes you constipated

Many medications can contribute to constipation. Common offenders include antidepressants, opioids, calcium-channel blockers, and anticholinergics. Older adults can be more susceptible to the constipation side effect of medications. Constipation symptoms include having bowel movements fewer than three times a week; having hard or small, lumpy stools; having stools that are hard to pass; straining; having painful bowel movements; or having the sensation of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. Long-term treatment options include prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, fiber supplements, and an increase in dietary fiber. More »

Where to turn for treatment of incontinence

Incontinence in middle and older age is common. You may realize it's a problem if you have a frequent need to go to the bathroom (urge incontinence), or if you leak urine easily when you cough or have a good laugh (stress incontinence). Fortunately, incontinence help is readily available. To find treatment of incontinence, the Harvard Special Health Report Better Bladder and Bowel Control recommends that you start with your primary care physician. But not all physicians have the necessary interest or experience. If your doctor seems unable to help, keep looking. More »