Posted in: Health and Fitness

Everything You Need to Know About Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence problems can be embarrassing. Nevertheless, understanding this condition and seeking help from a medical professional can help you regain your confidence. If you’re looking for help in the area of Wildwood, FL, urogynecologist specialists can help increase your chances of getting the problem under control.

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence occurs when your bladder muscles relax or contract involuntarily. The loss of control in the flow of urine may result in either complete urination or minor leakage. Depending on its cause, urinary incontinence can be mild and temporary, or chronic and long-lasting.

Incontinence is not a disease but can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Such conditions may include kidney stones, cancer, or infections.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Overall, there are 5 known types of incontinence. You may experience one or more types at the same time. The general types of urinary incontinence include:

Stress Incontinence: Stress incontinence is triggered by increased pressure on your bladder. The stress to your bladder can cause your muscles to relax, making you leak urine. Pressure can result from certain types of physical activity such as exercise, sneezing, laughing, or coughing. Other factors that can result in stress incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Certain medications
  • Prostate surgery in men

Urge Incontinence: Urge incontinence is also an overactive bladder or OAB. It happens when you experience a sudden and urgent need to urinate but are not able to make it to the bathroom in time. Possible causes of urge incontinence include:

  • Nerve damage in the bladder
  • Nervous system or muscle damage
  • Advanced aging
  • Conditions like:
    • Diabetes
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Stroke
    • Parkinson’s disease
  • Bladder infections and bladder stones
  • Certain medications

Overflow Incontinence: Overflow incontinence, sometimes called dribbling, occurs when you can’t empty your bladder. Some of the remaining urine may leak out later on. This type of incontinence is caused by:

  • Nerve damage
  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Tumors or an enlarged prostate
  • Certain medications
  • Constipation

If left untreated, overflow incontinence may lead to infections and other health problems.

Functional Incontinence: Functional incontinence is the failure to get to the bathroom in time which is caused by physical or mental conditions such as arthritis or dementia.

Mixed Urinary Incontinence: This is a combination of any two types of incontinence. The most common form of mixed urinary incontinence is having both urge and stress incontinence.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Many factors and conditions may lead to urinary incontinence. Some are easily treatable, while others are more severe and persistent. The main risk factors include:

  • Aging, which leads to the weakening of bladder muscles
  • Physical damage to your pelvic floor muscles caused by childbirth, or surgical procedures like hysterectomy
  • Prostate or bladder cancer and their treatments
  • The blockage caused by tumors

Other factors are constipation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), prostatitis, kidney or bladder stones, and interstitial cystitis. Urinary incontinence may also be a side effect of medications such as sedatives, blood pressure drugs, sedatives, and heart medications.

Treatment of Urinary Incontinence

The good news is urinary incontinence is a treatable condition. Your urogynecologist will recommend a treatment plan depending on the cause. If your incontinence is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend surgery. Additionally, most health care providers will encourage you to do specific exercises that help you improve bladder control. They include bladder training or pelvic floor exercises.

Final Thoughts

Up to 10 percent of people over the age of 65 struggle with incontinence. However, with proper medical attention and lifestyle changes, they can lead normal lives.

If incontinence is interfering with your daily life, make an appointment with a Wildwood, FL, urogynecologist, and begin your journey to recovery.