Female incontinence is urinary incontinence in women, with urinary incontinence being the uncontrolled and unintentional excretion of urine. Urinary incontinence is roughly twice as common in women as it is in men.
What Causes Female Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence has multiple causes. In some cases, it is a short-term problem caused by constipation or an infection of the urinary tract. It can also be a side effect of some medications.
There are several different types of chronic urinary incontinence, and they can have different causes. Stress incontinence is the most common type; the patient wets herself when jogging, sneezing, laughing or doing anything else that puts pressure on her bladder. It is usually caused by weakened muscles in the pelvic floor that don’t properly support the bladder. It drops down and pushes against the vagina, and the patient also can’t tighten the muscles that close off the urethra, so urine leaks out from time to time.
In urge female incontinence, the patient feels an overwhelming need to relieve herself, even if her bladder isn’t holding much urine, and she can’t get to the toilet in time. The patient may spontaneously leak urine, or her urination may be triggered by the sound or feel of running water. The patient may also leak urine when drinking water. Urge incontinence is caused by an overactive bladder that might be brought on by stress, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s or irritation of the bladder.
A woman with functional incontinence has a condition that hampers her ability to reach the toilet in time. Somebody in a wheel chair, for example, may have a difficult time maneuvering herself onto the toilet quickly enough. A patient with dementia may not even realize she needs to get to the bathroom.
In overflow incontinence, the patient’s bladder doesn’t empty completely. It can be caused by a blocked urethra or weak bladder muscles. Tumors or urinary stones can cause a blocked urethra, while nerve damage caused by conditions like diabetes can weaken the bladder muscles.
How is Female Incontinence Diagnosed and Treated?
Our first step will be to identify the type or types of female incontinence. Some patients have mixed incontinence or a combination of types. We will take a detailed medical history concentrating on the patient’s episodes of incontinence. We may ask the patient to fill out a bladder diary.
We will also perform a physical exam to lock for problems like growths or blockages. We may measure the capacity of the bladder during this time. Once we have determined the type of female incontinence, we can come up with a customized treatment plan for you.