Urine Incontinence – Causes and Types
Urine incontinence is a condition where the sufferer’s bladder becomes unable to hold as much urine as it should. When the bladder does not hold as much urine, the urine will leak out. Urine leaks may happen in the house, in the shower or in the garden, or even outside. The condition can cause embarrassment and shame for the person who has it, but there are treatment options available. If you are experiencing problems with leaking urine, then this article is for you.
This is sad but true – incontinence affects twice as many women as men. We will commence the discussion in this article on a broader spectrum, that is, why does incontinence (in general) affect an individual at all. Later, it may boil down to a women-centric discussion and how females cope with ‘lack of bladder control’.
Urine incontinence problems should never be ignored
If you are experiencing any kind of leakage from your bladder, then it is important to consult your doctor. He will be able to help by providing some simple solutions that can help. Your doctor may suggest that you take the medications Reglan or Maxolon, which are usually given to people who have bladder control problems.
However, if your bladder control problems are too great then you may want to consider trying an over-the-counter remedy such as the liquid vitamins Cushum or Optipran.
General causes of incontinence
- Neurological Disorders: An illness of the nerves may cause bladder weakness as urine control is one of the things that’s monitored by your nerves. Diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, a spine injury, stroke, or tumor in the brain might cause urinary incontinence.
- Muscle weakness or overactivity: Lack of ability to control urine flow may also emanate from overactive bladder muscles. Too much muscle contraction and relapse may release the urine from the bladder instead of holding it back. A similar phenomenon occurs when the pelvic floor muscles go weak (due to age or some form of an accident)!
- Surgical interventions: Certain surgeries may lead to the inabilities to slip into the toilet quickly when the need arises. It may be an outcome or a side-effect of the surgery. For instance, removal of the uterus in women affects those same muscles and ligaments that support the bladder; this leads to urinary incontinence.
- Other reasons: Yes, there are certain miscellaneous causes of bladder incontinence. Obesity, age of an individual, family history, etc. largely impacts your bladder functionality. With age, the muscles around the bladder and urethra of a person weaken leading to incontinence.
Obesity, on the other hand, exerts unnecessary pressure on the bladder and the surrounding muscles. This lets your urine leak in an instance when you have coughed or sneezed!
- Prostrate issues in men: Bladder incontinence sometimes hails from prostate issues. This issue, however, applies to men only. An enlarged prostate medically termed, benign prostatic hyperplasia usually affects older men. Prostate enlargement too creates extra pressure on the bladder causing incontinence.
Talking about prostate cancers, incontinence is more an effect of such cancer treatments and not a direct consequence of any prostate cancers! Before entering the domain of ‘female urinary incontinence’ you need to walk through the types of incontinence that may affect an individual. Here are the few common types of incontinence –
- Stress incontinence: When men or women feel a sudden (short or considerable amount of) urine leakage while laughing aloud, sneezing, or coughing, it is known as stress incontinence. In case of this, leakage may also occur while sudden bending or lifting. This is more common in women – those who have given birth vaginally!
- Urge Incontinence: This can affect either men or women. When you frequently feel the urge to urinate with an uncontrollable flow, it is designated as urge incontinence. Any of the (above-discussed) general causes of incontinence may lead to this condition.
This mostly affects the elderly population. When the brain does not receive enough signal to tell you that you need to move into the washroom, it indicates functional incontinence. Mostly, aged men and women who suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease often undergo functional incontinence.
Finally, women incontinence needs to be stressed upon, as this is the most prevalent type of urological incontinence. The commonest factors causing incontinence in females are
- Childbirth: Pregnancy usually involves both hormonal changes as well as the increasing weight of the fetus. This could lead to stress incontinence. The birth of a baby, especially the one that has taken place vaginally, indeed, weakens the muscles, nerves, and support issues that are present in and around the pelvic floor.
The weight of the fetus (or even vaginal birth) has sometimes been found to push the bladder, uterus, urethra, rectum, or even the small intestine downwards. All of these culminates into stress incontinence.
- Menopause: After menopause, lesser and lesser amounts of estrogen are produced in the female body. This hormone keeps the lining of both the bladder and the urethra healthy. Hence, menopause could be a probable reason for the setting in incontinence.
- Hysterectomy: As mentioned earlier, removal of the uterus could ultimately lead to a lack of urine control because many ligaments and muscles are responsible for commonly supporting the bladder and the uterus. Removal of the uterus or surgery in a female reproductive system could result in female incontinence. Read more: Urinary Incontinence – Types, Causes, And Remedies
Urine incontinence problems are easily treated with the right medication and determination on the part of the patient. With these two steps, your doctor will be able to give you an effective treatment. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and herbs.
Also, tell him about any other medical conditions you might be suffering from that could be causing your incontinence problem. You should always keep copies of your prescription and your doctor’s phone number handy.
Did you know about Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are simply known as pelvic floor muscle movements. Kegels have proved to improve incontinence symptoms. The weakening of the pelvic floor muscles is checked. As the pelvic floor supports the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum, the Kegel training is at times a humongous relief for incontinence patients.
There are several different ways to perform kegel exercises, and each variation builds upon the previous. For example, some people will start by contracting their abdomen muscles for three seconds and then relax them for three seconds, repeating in both directions as often as necessary.
Others will hold their breath and focus on releasing all tension from the pelvic floor muscles, focusing only on them for a few seconds at a time. And still, others will focus on contracting and then releasing both the rectal muscles as well as the Kegel muscles.
While these exercises can be performed by anyone, they can be particularly helpful for men who are suffering from a prolapsed or damaged prostate. Men may begin by performing ten repetitions of ten times, and over time, as their condition becomes better, they can increase the repetitions of their daily routine.
Those men who are planning to lose weight and are also having problems with ED should also consider using biofeedback or kegel exercise as part of their daily routine. The use of biofeedback equipment allows patients to focus their energy and physical attention on their body, rather than their problems.
While these methods have been successful in helping many patients manage their pain and improve their quality of life, it is important that men take care not to over-work their bodies and cause themselves unnecessary injury. Biofeedback and kegel exercise is simply one part of a successful prostate healthy regimen.
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