Urinary Incontinence in Women
While going for a jog or simply coughing, some women may experience urine leakage. Others get that sudden sharp urge to empty their bladder just before releasing a large amount of urine.
This condition may prevent you from enjoying your daily routine trying to avoid public embarrassment, and it can also occur during intercourse.
Urinary incontinence is a problem that affects millions of women globally. Older women tend to be most affected, although it can occur at any age. As a woman ages, she is more likely to be a candidate of incontinence. It can be as a result of menopause, pregnancy or childbirth. Fortunately, this condition can be treated.
Causes of urinary incontinence:
When your body undergoes a physical change such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause, it may have an effect on your urinary system due to the intense pressure exerted on the lower abdominal area. These events tend to damage the muscles and ligaments that support your bladder.
Your bladder is supported by tissue that when weakened cause your bladder to move downward, forcing muscles that prevent your urethra from opening to release, causing a release of urine.
Also, Involuntary actions of bladder muscles can occur as a result of damaged bladder nerves. Besides, diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and injury to the abdominal area can cause urinary incontinence.
Types of urinary incontinence:
Stress incontinence occurs when urethral muscles weaken under pressure. A good example of activities that can cause such pressure includes running, sneezing and laughing. This type of incontinence is common in most females, especially those who are overweight or have given birth naturally.
Treatment involves physiotherapy for the pelvic floor and/or a minor outpatient surgery.
Urgency incontinence, also known as an overactive bladder, suddenly creates an unbearable urge to urinate due to inappropriate bladder contractions. Women who suffer from this type of incontinence visit the bathroom frequently. Other health conditions such as diabetes can worsen the condition.
Treatment involves changing your diet and behavior, performing pelvic muscle exercises and/or taking prescribed medications.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urgency incontinence.
Treatment includes pelvic floor physical therapy, surgery and/or taking anticholinergic drugs.
Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder does not empty completely, resulting in overspill. It is a rare condition in women and results from various health problems.
Treatment requires bladder training and possibly intermittent self-catheterization.
Women with urinary incontinence may be advised to use absorbent products temporarily while waiting to undergo surgery.
The bottom line is that there is an effective treatment for urinary leakage. Don’t hold yourself back in fear of embarrassment. Instead, visit our office for a complete individualized consultation and learn more about your treatment options.
By Eric Runyon, DO, FACOOG