Women’s Health: Understanding Urinary Incontinence
Mostly a woman dominated disorder, urinary incontinence may lead to passing a few drop of urine while coughing or running. In some extreme cases, one can experience the urge to urinate even right after visiting the washroom. A lifestyle disorder, which is always kept under wraps due to embarrassment, urinary incontinence is inevitable with age and requires the right amount of information and awareness to help cope with it. To help you understand this disorder, today we bring you the important facts about urinary incontinence.
First of all, here are some key points to keep in mind about UI:
- Urinary incontinence is quite a common disorder in women. Especially with ageing women.
- All and every kind of urinary incontinence is perfectly treatable, irrespective of age.
- There is no need to be embarrassed by urinary incontinence. It happens to 1 out of 3 women, especially those who are undergoing menopause, pregnancy or childbirth.
- No single urinary incontinence is universally applicable and surgery is a safe treatment option for urinary incontinence, if the need arises.
Urinary incontinence takes place because of the problems in the muscles and nerves that are responsible for the holding and release of urine. Our body stores urine in a balloon-like organ called the bladder, which is connected to the urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body. When one urinates, the muscles in the wall of the bladder contract - forcing urine out of the bladder. However, when one suffers from urinary incontinence, the bladder muscles contract quite suddenly and are not strong enough to hold back the urine. Thus, the urge to urinate every now and then, even when there is no need in particular, leads to urinary incontinence.
Mentioned below is a quick run-down of the types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress urinary incontinence. If sneezing, coughing, laughing or movements that involve slight jerks lead to urinary incontinence, then you might have stress incontinence. Common in women with major physical changes, the vagina, pelvic floor muscles and ligaments tend to weaken the muscles and thus one suffers from stress incontinence. This kind of urinary incontinence can worsen during the menstrual cycle.
- Urge Incontinence. If one loses urine because of no single reason and one gets the need or urge to urinate time and again, then it is called urge incontinence. Certain kinds of fluids or stress can worsen the situation. Hyperthyroidism and uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to urge incontinence.
- Overactive Bladder. Overactive bladder takes place when the rogue nerves send erratic signals to the muscles, which makes then squeeze without prior warning. One might suffer from excessive urination, around eight to nine times a day in this condition. One might also suffer from sudden, strong urges to urinate, irrespective of the time or situation of the day.
- Functional Incontinence. In this condition, UI is caused by other medical conditions. A person on a wheelchair, or an Alzheimer’s disease patient might have a hard time if he or she has functional incontinence.
- Overflow Incontinence. In this kind of urinary incontinence, urine generally spills over - weakening the bladder muscles or blocking the urethra. This kind of urinary incontinence is highly rare in women, not to forget highly troublesome too.
The best solution to dealing with Urinary Incontinence is to see a doctor, preferably a urologist and get yourself treated. You can also opt for behavioural therapies to deal with the situations. Further, the doctor can prescribe a bladder stress test, or surgery, depending upon the severity of the condition.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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