Urinary Incontinence (UI)

No pair of jeans or Indian Outfits looks good over a big, bulky pair of Adult Diapers. A fashion consideration aside, urinary incontinence is emotionally distressing. Not to mention that it is very inconvenient when your life revolves around peeing. Every outing spent constantly worrying about when you’ll have to pee next, where you’ll be able to pee, and how to keep from peeing on yourself in between finding the next place to pee. Consult a Uro-Gynecologist Now!!!

Urinary Incontinence (UI) is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.

urinary incontinence

Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. This is stress incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

What You Need to Know About Female Urinary Incontinence

There are several types of incontinence, but the two primary types of incontinence that I’m talking about today are:

Stress incontinence — leakage happens with coughing, sneezing, exercising, laughing, lifting heavy things, and other movements that put pressure on the bladder. It is the most common type of incontinence.

Urge incontinence — this is sometimes called “overactive bladder.” Leakage usually happens after a strong, sudden urge to urinate. The sudden urge may occur when you don’t expect it, such as during sleep, after drinking water, or when you hear or touch running water.

If you are really unlucky, you get some combination of both called,

Mixed incontinence — two or more types of incontinence together, most often stress and urge incontinence.

What Are the Risk Factors for Urinary Incontinence?

The most common risk factors for incontinence include:

Being Female: Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.

Advancing age: As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.

Excess body fat: Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise, or when coughing or even sneezing.

Other chronic diseases: Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence.

Smoking: A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.

High-impact sports: While playing sports doesn’t cause incontinence, running, jumping and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sport activities.

How Does Incontinence Progress?

Different forms of incontinence can appear at different stages of life. Incontinence may be a lifelong condition, it may appear gradually after menopause, or it may appear suddenly as a side effect of another condition or an after-effect of surgery. However, there are some common ways in which various types of incontinence progress.

Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder (OAB): This type of incontinence usually appears gradually in older individuals as the result of increasing overactivity of the bladder muscles that causes involuntary bladder contractions. OAB can worsen over time unless ameliorated with exercises and/or treated with drugs.

Stress incontinence: This is the most common form of incontinence in young women and the second most common in elderly women. Men also can develop stress incontinence later in life as their urinary sphincter weakens or if the urethra is weakened as an after-effect of surgery.

Overflow incontinence: This type of incontinence is rare in women but common in men as they age and the prostate gland enlarges, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Over time, the enlarging prostate obstructs the flow of urine in the urethra and results in urinary hesitancy or an intermittent urinary stream. The condition can worsen as the prostate continues to enlarge.

Functional incontinence: The problem of immobility or confusion that prevents a person from getting to the toilet in time often worsens over time as mobility decreases or dementia develops.

Gross total incontinence: This may be a lifelong problem if it is the result of a congenital anatomical defect or a spinal cord injury.

How Can I Manage My Incontinence?

The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medications or surgery.

Bladder habit training: This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urinations. A doctor will usually recommend starting by urinating at one hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.

Pelvic muscle exercises: Also called ”Kegel” exercises (named after the gynecologist, Dr. Arnold Kegel, who developed them), this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control. The patient contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for four to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time. It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement. Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.

If you are a woman who suffers from any or all of the above, take heart and Meet your Gynec NOW!!

What to ask your doctor?

You have urinary incontinence. This means that you are not able to keep urine from leaking from your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. Urinary incontinence may occur as you get older. It can also develop after a surgery or childbirth. You can do many things to help keep urinary incontinence from affecting your daily life.

Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best fits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures prescribed by your doctor, or surgery.