Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, different from a slight loss of urine after coughing, laughing, or sneezing, to complete helplessness to control urination.
It can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease for example unavailability of bathrooms, sneezing, extreme anxiety, coughing, or extreme laughing.
However it occurs more frequently in old age, urinary incontinence isn't an unavoidable outcome of aging.
if your daily activities are affected due to urinary incontinence don't delay seeing your doctor. For many people, medication or simple lifestyle changes can relieve pain or stop urinary incontinence.
Urge incontinence: you have an unexpected, extreme urge to urinate followed by a compulsory loss of urine. You will feel the urge to urinate most frequently, including during the night.
Urge incontinence can be caused due to small conditions, such as diabetes, infection, or a more serious condition such as neurological disorder.
Stress incontinence: when you apply pressure on your bladder by exercising or lifting something heavy, laughing, coughing, or sneezing, urine leaks are known as stress incontinence.
Functional incontinence: It occurs when the person's bowel or bladder is working properly but they are unable to go to the toilet in time due to physical or mental impairment.
Mixed incontinence: Mixed incontinence is a combination of urge and stress incontinence. It has symptoms of both.
Overflow incontinence: Overflow incontinence takes place when you are not able to empty your bladder.
You might not feel comfortable while discussing incontinence with your doctor.
But if incontinence is impacting your daily life it's essential to seek medical advice because urinary continence may-
Increase the risk of falls in older people as they rush to the toilet
Indicate a more severe underlying condition
Cause you to limit social interactions and restrict your activities
A small amount of urine leakage occasionally is observed. In some cases, loss of small to medium quantities of urine all the time is seen.
Urinary tract infections: The risk of urinary tract infections is increased due to urinary continence
Skin problems: Continuous wet skin due to urinary continence can cause skin infections, rashes, and sores
Impacts on your personal life: Your relationships and social work are impacted due to urinary incontinence
Urinary continence is not always preventable, although its risk can be reduced by
Eating more fiber-rich food which can prevent constipation, a cause of urinary continence
Maintaining a healthy weight
Stop smoking and seek help to quit smoking
Practice pelvic floor exercises
Avoid bladder irritants, such as alcohol, acidic foods, and caffeine
Treatment will depend on different factors such as the patient's age, general health, type of incontinence, and mental state.
Firstly Your doctor will advise you on the least invasive treatments and move on to other options only when these techniques fail. Your doctor may recommend,Bladder training:
The aim is to control the urge. You might start by trying to hold off for 10 minutes after there is an urge to do so.
The aim is to extend the time between urinary trips until you achieve the gap of 2.5 to3.5 hours.Fluid and diet management:
you might need to cut back or avoid acidic foods, caffeine, alcohol, reduce the consumption of liquid, increasing physical activity, or losing weight can also reduce the problem.Toilet timetable:
Rather than waiting to go to the toilet the person schedules peeing times throughout the day, for example, every two hours.
Double voiding means urinating then waiting for a couple of minutes and then trying again.
Your doctor might suggest you do some exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This exercise includes kegel’s exercises.
Kegel exercises are very effective for stress incontinence but they may also help in urging incontinence.
Contract the muscles that you use for pausing the urine, then hold for 5 seconds, and then you must relax for at least 4-5 seconds.
In case you find it difficult to hold it for two seconds and then relax for three seconds.
Try to hold these contractions for a minimum of 10 seconds.
Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions each day.
Train for at least three sets of 10 repetitions daily
Your doctor may advise you to work with a physical therapist or try biofeedback techniques to help to recognize and contract the correct muscles.Electrical stimulation:
Electrodes are put for a limited period into your vagina or rectum to strengthen and stimulate pelvic floor muscles.
Electrical stimulation can be successful for urge incontinence and stress incontinence. But you may need various treatments over a specific time.
Devices designed to treat women with urinary incontinence include,
A tiny plug-like replaceable device is inserted into the urethra before a particular activity such as tennis that can set off incontinence. It prevents leakage and is taken out before urination.
Generally, this device is used in someone who has a pelvic organ prolapse, this device fits into your vagina, and support is provided to the vaginal tissues.
Besides, behavioral techniques, medical devices, electrical stimulation, and pelvic exercises other methods include,
Interventional therapies: This will include nerve stimulators, botox, and bulking material injections.
Surgery: Sling procedure, prolapse surgery, artificial urinary sphincter, and bladder neck suspension.
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