Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, resulting in the unintended passing of urine. It is a common problem in the United States, affecting both men and women, but unfortunately, most people don’t seek help. That may be because they perceive the situation as embarrassing or think nothing can be done about their condition. As a result, most people with urinary incontinence suffer in silence, keeping them from enjoying life. More than just a medical condition, urinary incontinence affects your emotional, psychological and social life. The good news is that Women’s Healthcare Physicians can help you manage or treat your condition.
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What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
The symptoms of urinary incontinence vary from person to person, depending on the type and severity of their condition. Some people experience occasional, minor leaks, while others frequently lose small to moderate amounts of urine. Below are the types of urinary incontinence.
Types of urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence is the most common form of urinary incontinence prevalent in older women and less common in men. For this condition, the pelvic muscles are weak and allow urine to escape. People with stress urinary incontinence experience urine leakage when physical activity puts pressure on the bladder. For example, the bladder leaks urine with bending, exercising, walking, lifting, or even coughing and sneezing; you can pass a few drops of urine to a tablespoon or more.
You can manage stress urinary incontinence by doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Urethral and vaginal devices, lifestyle changes, pads, and surgery are other ways to manage this condition.
Overactive bladder urge incontinence
As the name might suggest, urge incontinence is whereby your brain tells your bladder to empty even when not full, or your bladder muscles are overactive, so they contract to pass urine before your bladder is full. Urge incontinence is mainly characterized by a sudden and frequent urge to urinate. Controlling this urge is difficult, and you may often urinate during the day and night. Urge incontinence is more likely to affect men with prostate problems and older women. There are multiple possible causes of an overactive bladder or urge incontinence; diet can cause this condition. Treatments for urge incontinence may include drugs to relax the bladder muscles, lifestyle changes, or surgery.
Sometimes urge incontinence occurs alongside stress urinary incontinence; this is known as mixed incontinence.
Overflow incontinence occurs when your body makes excess urine that the bladder can hold. It may also be because the bladder is full but cannot empty, causing it to lean urine. The bladder muscles may not contract as they should, or something may block the flow. Overflow incontinence causes one to pass small amounts of urine frequently.
Overflow incontinence is rare in women and is more common in men with prostate problems or who have had prostate surgery.
There are various devices that healthcare professionals use to collect and hold urine to help manage urinary retention and urinary incontinence. If you experience any of the symptoms of the above types of urinary incontinence, there are effective treatments to help you.
Reserve a session with your doctor at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples for treatment to eliminate this embarrassing problem.