Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatments

 


Do you have trouble with bladder control? Maybe you occasionally leak urine when you cough or sneeze. Or maybe, you have sudden urges to urinate that are so sudden and strong you don’t get to a toilet in time. If so, you are not alone, and you may have urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a common problem for both males and females. About 4 in every 10 adults struggle with urinary incontinence, and the likelihood of it increases with age. Urinary incontinence is a symptom that can be caused by different health conditions. Urinary incontinence can interfere with everyday activities and cause embarrassment, but it can be managed. Read on to learn more about this condition.

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence means that you have a difficult time controlling your bladder. As a result, you cannot hold urine (pee) until you make it to the bathroom. Depending on the cause of your urinary incontinence, this could come with a sudden urge, or it could just leak without you realizing you need to pee.
The kidneys filter waste products in your body, creating urine to be collected and stored inside the bladder. When the bladder is full, it signals the brain to empty the urine through tubes connected to the bladder. There are muscles that control the opening and closing of the bladder and the tubes that carry the urine away from the bladder into the urethra. The last step is emptying the urine by peeing. People with urinary incontinence have a problem with one of the steps in the normal process of urinating.
Everyone can experience urinary incontinence, but it’s more common in females and older adults over 60. It’s important to know that urinary incontinence is not a normal part of growing older – it is a sign of a problem, usually related to another medical condition.

Types & Causes of Incontinence

There are a few different types of urinary incontinence, such as:

Stress Incontinence 

Females commonly experience stress incontinence because of weaker muscles near the bladder after childbirth and menopause. This causes incontinence with coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercising.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is when you have the sudden feeling, or urge, to urinate and can’t make it to the toilet fast enough. It is also called “overactive bladder” because the muscle in the bladder wall activates when it’s not supposed to.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence involves leaking urine after peeing and between trips to the bathroom because your bladder isn’t completely empty. This can happen when the muscle in the bladder wall is underactive, so it doesn’t activate to squeeze out all the urine. It can also happen when there is a blockage between the bladder and the urethra, such as an enlarged prostate.

Mixed Incontinence

Sometimes, people experience mixed incontinence with more than one type. Mixed incontinence usually involves stress and urge incontinence.

Functional Incontinence

This type of incontinence happens when someone has a barrier to peeing that is not related to their urinary system. People with a disability such as difficulty walking may not be able to reach the toilet when they need to pee.

Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

So, how do you know if you have urinary incontinence? If you plan your activities to make sure that you will be near a bathroom because you’re afraid you won’t be able to make it in time, then you probably have urinary incontinence.
The symptoms of urinary incontinence may include:
  • Suddenly feeling like your bladder is full and you need to pee
  • Leaking urine when you laugh, cough, exercise, or have sex
  • Wetting bed sheets or blankets while you’re asleep
  • Feeling like you didn’t empty your bladder after peeing
  • Dripping or leaking between trips to the toilet

Source: https://www.symptomfind.com/health-conditions/urinary-incontinence-causes-risk-factors-symptoms-and-treatments?ueid=fd0fd971-926a-4255-b883-9252ea75b4a5

By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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