DHHS, NIH News  
National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

For Immediate Release
Friday, February 29, 2008

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse


NIDDK Publishes Resources about Bladder Problems

Women with bladder control problems can learn about treatments and techniques to help them manage their condition in a new resource from the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Urinary incontinence is a problem for millions of women. Contrary to some beliefs, the problem is not limited to older women. As many as three quarters of women in the United States report at least some urinary leakage at some point in their lives, and studies consistently find that 20 to 50 percent report more frequent leakage, according to the 2007 NIDDK report Urologic Diseases in America.

Despite the negative impact urinary incontinence can have on quality of life, embarrassment often keeps women from seeking help. The introductory booklet What I need to know about Bladder Control for Women prepares women to talk about the problem with a health care provider and includes a worksheet and bladder diary they can complete before their medical appointment. The booklet also includes a tip sheet and log for performing pelvic muscle exercises and a list of bladder control medicines doctors might prescribe, along with their side effects.

The publication incorporates useful information and tools from the NIDDK's Let's Talk About Bladder Control for Women series into one comprehensive resource. Readers no longer need to order multiple publications. All of NIDDK's Bladder Control for Women materials are available online at www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/bladdercontrol/index.htm.

In addition to the bladder control booklet, the NKUDIC has a new fact sheet about the opposite problem — urinary retention. Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder completely. Unlike urinary incontinence, urinary retention is more common in men than women because of prostate enlargement. However, women can experience urinary retention if the bladder or lower part of the colon sags or moves out of its normal position.

Both publications, Urinary Retention and What I need to know about Bladder Control for Women, are available on the NKUDIC Web site at www.urologic.niddk.nih.gov. To view them online, go to the A to Z list of kidney and urologic topics and titles and click on U for urinary retention, or B for bladder control, or W for What I need to know about Bladder Control for Women. To order a copy, click on "Order Publications" and then on "Kidney and Urologic Diseases Materials."

The A to Z list includes all Clearinghouse publications in alphabetical order. Publications also can be ordered by calling the Clearinghouse at 1–800–860–8747 or writing to the NKUDIC at 3 Information Way, Bethesda, Md. 20892–3580. Single copies of NKUDIC publications are free. Packets of 25 copies of booklets and fact sheets cost $10 and $5, respectively, to cover shipping and handling.

The NKUDIC was created in 1987 to increase knowledge and understanding about diseases of the kidneys and urologic system among people with these conditions and their families, health care professionals, and the general public. To carry out this mission, the NKUDIC works closely with a coordinating panel of representatives from federal agencies; national voluntary organizations; professional groups; and state health departments to identify and respond to information needs about kidney and urologic diseases.

The NIDDK, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducts and supports research on diabetes; endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe, and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about NIDDK and its programs, see www.niddk.nih.gov

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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