Urinary incontinence refers to a general loss of bladder control. It can be a very inconvenient and embarrassing issue. Symptoms vary. Some people may experience only slight leakage when laughing, sneezing or coughing. Others experience a strong and sudden need to urinate without enough time to reach a restroom. Talking to our doctor is the first step to finding relief for your problem, no matter its severity.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence differ based on the type involved. There are five types of incontinence. Stress incontinence involves light urine leakage due to pressure on the bladder. With urge incontinence, there is that sudden, uncontrollable urge to go with unpreventable urinary loss.
When the bladder doesn’t completely empty, sufferers will experience a constant dribble of urine known as overflow incontinence. Functional incontinence is the term that describes the inability to make it to the restroom on time due specifically to a physical or mental impairment. Finally, there is mixed incontinence, which simply means dealing with symptoms of more than one type.
Causes and Risk Factors
Urinary incontinence is actually a symptom of a bigger disorder, not a disease itself. It can be caused by a medical condition, a physical condition or simply by lifestyle behaviors. Some urinary incontinence is temporary. Factors that can lead to temporary incontinence include foods or medications that stimulate the bladder, such as caffeine, alcohol, vitamin C, sedatives and carbonated beverages, among others.
In addition, certain physical conditions, such as constipation or urinary tract infection, can cause incontinence issues. Persistent urinary incontinence is an ongoing problem caused by a contributing physical issue. Age, pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy, prostate issues or neurological disorders are some of the more common contributors.
Many factors can put you at risk for urinary incontinence. Weakened bladder muscles are inevitable with age and can be a large contributor. Gender plays a role, as women suffer more often than men. Those who are overweight may have more problems with incontinence due to added pressure being placed on the bladder muscles. Medical issues, like diabetes or neurological disorders, often come with symptoms of incontinence.
Treatments and Lifestyle Changes
Treatment depends on your type of incontinence, how severe it is and its cause. It’s best to start with less invasive measures. Techniques such as bladder training in which you work to strengthen your muscles by holding urine for longer increments or double voiding, which involves attempting to urinate shortly after your first attempt, are often helpful. Managing your fluid intake and scheduling regular bathroom visits are also methods to try, along with pelvic floor exercises.
Fortunately, Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery and Spa in Wayzata offers another option called a sling, which works to keep the bladder and urethra in place. With help from our doctor, urinary incontinence doesn’t have to take over your life. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options.