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Urinary Incontinence: What Causes It And How Do You Treat It?
More women than men suffer from incontinence and they first encounter it when they sneeze or laugh and find that they have just accidentally peed themselves. It is shocking at first and uncomfortable after that. The reason for the leakage is due to a loss of the sphincter muscle or because of a weakened condition.
The American Urological Association has determined that up to one-third of all men and women in the US suffer from urinary incontinence. About 30 percent of women who are between the ages of 30 to 60 years of age end up with urinary incontinence which is high compared to only 5 percent of men.
There are many reasons why incontinence shows up and some of the reasons are because of stress, obesity, and menopause. Having an overactive bladder can also cause you to end up incontinent, and an overflow problem is possible for men as a result of a problem with their prostate gland. There are several different kinds of incontinence and the causes of them.
1. Stress incontinence
This type of incontinence is very common and shows up among women who have already given birth to a child and those who have gone through menopause. Among the other causes of stress incontinence are:
- Specific surgical procedures
- A hysterectomy
2. Urge incontinence
This type of incontinence is also referred to as the overactive bladder. It is the second most common type of incontinence. It is the result of the sudden movement of the bladder and a too short period of time for the person to respond to the urination. Other causes of this type of incontinence include:
- Listening to running water
- Having an orgasm during sex
- A shift in your position
3. Overflow incontinence
- When men suffer from problems with their prostate gland
- A urethra that is enlarged
- A bladder that has been damaged
- A large prostate that is blocking the bladder.
4. Mixed incontinence
Some people end up suffering from a combination of the urge incontinence and the stress incontinence.
5. Functional incontinence
This kind of incontinence occurs when a person knows they must urinate but can’t get to the bathroom to urinate properly. This is a major cause among older people especially those who are living in a nursing home. Causes include:
- Being confused
- Problems with eyesight
- Unable to move properly
- Being anxious, depressed, or angry
Ways to diagnose incontinence
- A physical examination. The doctor will completely check the areas that would be involved in incontinence in a man and a woman.
- The blood test will be able to determine how well the kidney is functioning
- A urinalysis to look for any abnormalities and infections.
- An ultrasound to check the pelvis
- A stress test
- The X-ray that will help to see the function of the bladder which is called a cystogram.
- A cystoscopy where a very thin tube is put into the urethra. A small camera is attached to the end of the tube and the doctor can check for abnormalities that may be inside the urinary tract.
- A test that determines how much urine remains in the bladder after the person urinates.
Treatments for incontinence
- Kegel exercise – these are used to make the sphincter strong again and tighten the floor muscles of the pelvis which help you urinate.
- Exercises to train the bladder including delaying urination, double voiding, and going to the toilet at the same time every day.
- Medications that include Tofranil, an antidepressant, topical estrogen, and anticholinergics that help to calm down bladders that are overactive.
- There are a number of medical devices that a female should talk to her physician about. They include: urethral inserts, radiofrequency therapy, bulking agents, and a sacral nerve stimulator.
- Surgeries including: colposuspension, artificial sphincter, and sling procedures.
If you suffer from any of these types of incontinence you should first consult your primary care physician. Go through all of the options you have available with your doctor and which ones are best for you. More than 80 percent of the people who suffer from incontinence have either gotten better or have been cured completely.
Until you find a solution to your incontinence problem, take advantage of the wide selection of lined pants that can save you from an embarrassing leakage accident. They have improved greatly through the years and even more commercials are showing younger women looking fashionable while wearing them.
There are smaller pads you can wear regularly if your problem is minor or if you haven’t been able to resolve your problem. Peeing a little bit when you laugh or sneeze may not be enough for you to consider surgery for. Do what you need to do to keep yourself comfortable and confident.