March 4, 2022

Urinary Incontinence — What It Is & What You Can Do

Urinary Incontinence is a condition when a person loses control of their bladder.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“I didn’t mean to embarrass myself, it just happened accidently. I couldn’t control it,” – Lynda tried to explain to her daughter when the mother couldn’t control her urinary spill during the graduation ceremony of her daughter.  

Has such situation ever happened to you? If so, don’t worry. The developments in the medical sector bring multiple solutions for the health issues once people used to be ashamed of. Urinary Retention is just an elderly-age medical condition. Experts at the proud Urology can help you deal and prevent such issues with utmost ease. Let’s learn more about it. 


Urinary Incontinence is a condition that occurs when a person loses control of his/her bladder. This embarrassing condition may at times cause leakage of urine droplets while sneezing and coughing or may also entirely empty your bladder. According to medical surveys, it is observed that Urinary Incontinence is more likely to occur in women above 50 years of age. As we grow up, the muscles and tissues in the pelvic area supporting the muscles become weak, thereby leading to Urinary Incontinence. However, there are no claims that younger aged people cannot face this condition.

Urinary Incontinence can be a tough situation that can interfere with the workings of your everyday routine. However, if you ever face the embarrassment of not being able to control your urine flow, make sure to set up an appointment with proud urology and let the best health care professionals guide your wellbeing. 


TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE 

According to health care professionals, Urinary Incontinence can broadly be divided into three categories:


1. Urge Urinary Incontinence 

This condition occurs when the person cannot control the urine stream after feeling a sudden and strong urge to urinate. In such a situation, the person might not be able to reach the bathroom and end up losing the urine stream in pants only. 

2. .Overflow Urinary Incontinence

This condition often occurs as a result of not being able to empty the bladder properly while urinating. Due to this, a few drops of urine leaks from the bladder, causing uneasiness in undergarments. 

3. Stress Urinary Incontinence

This condition occurs when certain stress is exerted on the Sphincter muscle, the muscle that holds urine in the bladder. The sudden pressure loosens the muscles, thereby causing the leakage of urine droplets. The following mentioned activities may trigger stress incontinence:

  1. Coughing 
  2. Sneezing 
  3. Exercising 
  4. Cycling 
  5. Running
  6. Laughing 
  7. Shouting 

4. Functional Urinary Incontinence 

This situation occurs when a physical or mental impairment prevents the person from using the toilet at the right time when he/she feels the urge to urinate. This does not occur due to the weakening of pelvic muscles but due to other physical issues that do not allow the person to make it to the toilet timely. Many times, people who have arthritis or any other mental illness may face this problem. 

5. Mixed Urinary Incontinence

When a person experiences more than one type of urinary incontinence, such a situation is called Mixed urinary incontinence. 


CAUSES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE 

Urinary incontinence generally occurs due to the weakening of pelvic muscles. However, some specific potential reasons for the conditions are listed below:

  1. Weak bladder muscles 
  2. Weak pelvic floor muscles 
  3. Enlarged prostate 
  4. Cancer 
  5. Damage in pelvic muscles 
  6. Bladder stone
  7. Kidney stone
  8. Urinary Tract infections
  9. Constipation 
  10. Inflammation in the bladder, also known as Interstitial cystitis 
  11. Consumption of excessive drugs 
  12. Inflammation of the prostate, also known as Prostatitis 
  13. Consumption of excessive alcohol can cause temporary urinary incontinence 
  14. Consumption of excessive caffein can cause temporary urinary incontinence
  15. Large Vitamin C doses 
  16. Blood pleasure medicines 
  17. Consumption of excessive spicy, sugary, or acidic food
  18. Excessive use of artificial sweeteners 


Some of these factors may cause temporary urinary incontinence and may cure with age. But others can be serious and long-lasting if proper medical care is not taken. Let us understand in detail. 


1. Weakening of bladder muscles due to Aging 

There are tissues and muscles present in the human bladder that keep the bladder tact and regulate the urinary process. As we get older, these bladder muscles get weaker with age that creates obstruction between the signal from bladde3r to the brain, thereby resulting in Urinary Incontinence. However, it is not necessary that every old aged person is likely to suffer weak bladder muscles. If you maintain a healthy exercise that includes healthy eating, daily exercise, and yoga, you will surely succeed in avoiding urinary incontinence throughout your lifespan. 


2. Damage in Pelvic Floor muscles 

Pelvic floor muscles basically support your bladder. Any sort of accidental or surgical damage to these muscles can lead to urinary incontinence. In various medical surveys, most women are seen to have damaged or weak pelvic floor muscles as it gets damaged during pregnancy and childbirth. 


3. Enlarged Prostate 

The prostate gland in males that nourishes the sperm tends to enlarge with the growing age. This gland surrounds the neck of the bladder. So, as it increases in size with the increase in age, old-aged males often experience the uneasy condition of urinary incontinence.


4. Cancer 

Both prostate cancer and bladder cancer can lead to urinary incontinence. Benign tumours also block the flow of urine, ultimately resulting in urinary incontinence. 


Risk factors involved in making Urinary Incontinence a major issue of everyday life: 


  1. GROWING AGE: As we get older, the muscles in the bladder and urethra starts to lose their strength. With the growing age, the capacity of the bladder to hold the urine also decreases, thereby increasing the chances of involuntary urine release. 
  2. Obesity: Fat and extra body weight also increases the pressure on bladder and its surrounding muscles. This extra pressure weakens the muscles and makes the urine to leak out when the person sneezes or coughs. 
  3. Gender: The chances of suffering with stress incontinence are more in women. The females’ responsibilities of pregnancy, childbirth, and issues of menopause and the normal female anatomy make this issue more prevalent in women. Such circumstances in female body make the muscles weak. On the other hand, men who have issues in prostate gland are at higher risk of urge and overflow incontinence. 
  4. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Tabacco intake is more likely to increase the risk of urinary incontinence in both men and women. 
  5. Family history: A person can also be subjected to the issue due to heredity. 
  6. Medical history: People suffering from Neurological disease and diabetes are more likely to be at the risk of getting infected with urinary incontinence. 


COMPLICATION  

  1. Skin issues: Constantly wet vagina leads to rashes, skin infection, and burning sores in the sensitive area. 
  2. Urinary tract Infection: Urinary incontinence also increases the risk of repeated urinary tract infections. 
  3. Harms the person life: This issue often leads to embarrassing situations in public. People start avoiding social gatherings and the confidence of presenting self-amongst other people also deteriorates.  



DIAGNOSIS OF URINARY INCONTINENCE 

Before any laboratory check-ups, health care professionals generally examine the patient’s health history, general routine, and everyday habits to find out the exact reason for urinary incontinence. To do so, your doctor may ask you some general questions regarding your alcohol consumption habits and previous medications. Be assured to answer truthfully because the entire treatment procedure depends on the symptoms and history as you explain to your doctor. 

After careful examination of your medical history, the doctor may ask you to take the following tests: 


  1. Urine sample for laboratory checking: A urine sample of the patient is collected and analysed in a laboratory for any kind of infection or fungus disease. 
  2. Catheter examination: Under this method, either a catheter or a small tube is inserted in the urethra and bladder, which helps to examine the total urine flow, consistency of urine flow, and the left-over urine in the bladder. This helps to judge the severeness of the disease. 
  3. Cystoscopy: This method closely examines the bladder as a medical camera is inserted that takes pictures and helps the doctor examine the internal infections. 





HOW TO PREVENT URINARY INCONTINENCE?

Although urinary incontinence is not a very preventable condition, however, a healthy lifestyle and everyday yoga can always guarantee an overall healthy lifestyle. You can take the following precautions to prevent urinary incontinence:


  1. Regulate your weight. Maintain your body weight. If you fall into the category of obese individuals, regulate your lifestyle, and workout daily to get to a standard weight.
  2. Make pelvic floor muscle exercise a daily routine of your life.
  3. Do not consume alcohol, drugs, caffeine, cigarettes, and acidic food. 
  4. Regulate your diet and avoid constipation as it is a significant cause of urinary incontinence.