Urinary incontinence is the weakening or loss of bladder control which leads to involuntary urination. It is a common problem that affects millions of people. The inability of the bladder to hold urine due to the loss of control over urinary sphincters is the cause of this embarrassing problem. The severity of the problem ranges from the occasional leaking of urine when you cough or sneeze to having a sudden strong urge to urinate that you don’t get to a toilet in time.
The chances of getting urinary incontinence increase with age. It is more common in women than in men. There are a number of reasons for the occurrence of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can be temporary or persistent.
Temporary urinary incontinence
Few types of food, drinks, and medications may act as diuretics and stimulate your bladder by increasing the volume of urine. Some of them are:
- Carbonated drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chilli peppers
- Food with high level of spice, sugar or acid.
- Heart and blood pressure medication, sedatives , and muscle relaxants
- High doses of vitamin C
Urinary incontinence may also occur as a result of medical conditions such as:
- Urinary tract infection
Persistent urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence may also be a persistent condition caused by certain physical problems or changes such as:
- Pregnancy – The hormonal changes in the woman’s body and the increased weight of the fetus leads to stress incontinence.
- Childbirth – Vaginal delivery can damage the bladder nerves and weaken the muscles needed for bladder control leading to a prolapsed (Push down) pelvic floor. This alters the position of the bladder, uterus, rectum, and protrudes into the vagina. Such protrusions may contribute to incontinence.
- Aging – Aging decreases the capacity of bladder to store urine. Involuntary contractions of the bladder become more frequent as you age.
- Obesity – Obesity is a significant risk factor for urinary incontinence
- Menopause – The Production of estrogen becomes less after menopause. Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for keeping the bladder and urethra healthy. The deterioration of these tissues may aggravate incontinence.
- Hysterectomy – Most of the muscles and ligaments supporting the bladder and uterus of the women are same. Any surgery involving a woman’s uterus may damage the supporting pelvic floor muscles, which may lead to incontinence.
- Enlarged prostate – Enlargement of prostate, especially in older men may lead to urinary incontinence.
- Prostate cancer – In men, stress or urge incontinence may be associated with untreated prostate cancer. It may also be a side effect of prostate cancer treatment
- Obstruction – An obstruction caused by a tumor anywhere along your urinary tract may block the normal flow of urine leading to overflow incontinence. It may also be caused by urinary stones.
- Neurological disorders – Neurological disorders such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or a spinal injury which can interfere with the nerve signals involved in bladder control may cause urinary incontinence.
Treatment depends on factors like the type of incontinence, Patient age, and severity, general and mental health. Some of them are:
Kegel exercise – These are pelvic floor exercises which help to strengthen the urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles to help control urination.
Bladder training – Bladder training helps to regain control over the bladder gradually. This can be done by delaying urination, double voiding of the bladder, maintaining a toilet timetable, and fluid and diet management.
Medication – Doctors may prescribe you some medications along with exercises to help in bladder control.
Devices – There are certain devices that are devised to help bladder control in women such as urethral inserts, pessary etc.
Surgery – Surgery can be considered if other therapies do not work. Women who plan to have children must discuss surgical options with the doctor before making a decision.
Rao Hospital with its most advanced treatments and complete women care has been named one of the best hospitals in this region for Fertility and Gynaecological services. Furthermore, our team of certified doctors & nurses are guaranteed to provide you with the best in clinical care during your pregnancy planning, birthing, and beyond. We ensure safe and ethical practice and assure you with best results.