What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Loss of bladder control or unexpected leakage of urine is called urinary incontinence. Kidneys produce urine and store it in the bladder. When you need to urinate, bladder muscles get tightened and urine is forced out of your bladder through the urethra. At the same time muscles around the urethra relax to let the urine expel from your body. Urinary incontinence happens when these muscles do not resume to their shrunk position or close the urethra. So, when pressure is caused by laughing, sneezing or exercising, incontinence sufferers experience sudden urine leakage.
Types Of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is more common in women than in men. There are two most common types of female urinary incontinence:
Stress Incontinence- This type is usually common in younger women and happens when there is stress or pressure on the bladder. Stress incontinence can happen when weak pelvic floor muscles put pressure on the bladder and urethra making them work harder. With this type, you can leak small amounts of urine when you are involved in sudden movements or physical activity as well as when cough, sneeze or laugh.
Urge Incontinence- In this type, the urge to urinate is frequent, strong and sudden. A woman suffering from urge incontinence has to visit the bathroom almost eight times a day with intense urges to urinate every time but they do not urinate much in quantity, however, the urge to pee is severe. It is more common in older women and sometimes called “overactive bladder”
There is also a third type but that is less common and known as mixed incontinence. It happens when a sufferer has both stress and urge incontinence.
Urinary Incontinence Cause
Urinary incontinence is usually caused when there is a problem with the muscles and nerves that help the bladder to control (hold or pass) urine. Situations such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can trigger these problems with the muscles and nerves making it more common. Other reasons may include being overweight, suffering from constipation, or nerve damage after surgery.
Sometimes urinary incontinence lasts for a short period of time and can happen due to taking strong medicine, increased caffeine intake, or an infection. Bladder control often returns to its proper functioning when the intake is reduced or stopped and the infection goes away.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment
Anyone dealing with incontinence should consult a doctor who can provide a treatment plan for urinary incontinence. After an initial consultation, your GP may come up with a health plan for you. This may involve some exercise, lifestyle, and dietary plans for losing weight. Other health habits and assessments may include quitting smoking and treating constipation. If these are unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend other treatments depending upon the type of urinary incontinence you have, its severity, your age, and your health and medical history. You may even be prescribed medication.
Clinical Treatment Options
Other treatment options that your doctor might talk with you about are topical medicine application, vaginal pessary, or injecting bulking agents. These non-surgical treatments help the bladder control opening closing and reduce the amount of urine leakage. Surgery may also be an option for extreme cases of urinary incontinence. Pregnancy can cause leakage to happen again temporarily. This surgery involves two procedures. Sling procedure and Burch Procedure.
Sling Procedure – It is commonly used to treat stress incontinence. It is a narrow piece of synthetic mesh placed under your urethra to support urethra performance and hold the bladder in place.
Burch Procedure – In this procedure the bladder is kept in place with the help of stitches on either side of the urethra.
Whatever treatment your doctor suggests, you will have to be patient with the treatment time, because it may take a month or longer for different treatments to start working and achieve a positive impact.