Urinary incontinence is a condition wherein individuals find it hard to control their urine movement. It is a fairly common problem for people today, especially for those who are starting to age. It can be very embarrassing but is still an unfortunate part of life.
Causes of Incontinence
As already mentioned, urinary incontinence or UI is usually a result of aging. As the body increases in years, some organs fail to function properly, hence the problems. Typically, UI can result from any of these major factors:
- Overactive bladder
- The urethra is lacking in resistance, therefore allowing the fluid to pass through
- Inability of the bladder to tighten
- Inability to empty the bladder due to a blockage
- Combination of these factors
Note though that these major causes aren’t just triggered by aging. There are some lifestyle habits that could increase the risk factor of UI, therefore causing the problem long before a person reaches a certain age. Following are some of the risks factors of this condition.
- Alcohol – alcohol is actually a diuretic, which means that it stimulates the bladder. Individuals who drink too much have this urgent need to urinate.
- Caffeine – this works pretty much the same way as alcohol.
- Medication – this can lead to temporary UI problems. The medications resulting to UI are sedative, blood pressure drugs and muscle relaxants.
- Pregnancy – pregnant women often have UI due to the stress to the bladder. As the child grows, the bladder becomes cramped, causing it to deal with lesser fluid. The pregnancy itself can cause the muscles to weaken, leading to temporary UI.
- Obstruction – a tumor blocking the urinary tract can cause incontinence. This blockage results to an overflow, hence the uncurled leakage. Also known as urinary stones, these masses can be found in the kidney, the ureters or the bladder.
- Over-hydration – drinking large amounts of fluid in short period of time might make it harder for the bladder to handle the water. Hence, leakage is more likely to happen during this time.
- Urinary Tract Infection – infections may also cause temporary incontinence. Typically, the incontinence is a symptom along with foul smelling urine and a burning sensation during urination. For situations like this, a simple medication is often enough to solve the problem.
- Constipation – compacted stool can sometimes lead to bladder problems, making it harder for a person to control their urination. In addition, the muscles controlling both procedures are closely related which each other. Hence, problems with constipation may also lead to incontinence. Again, this type of problem may be treated and is often temporary.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Medical practitioners have successfully categorized UI into three groups:
- Stress Urinary Incontinence – this is the most common type of UI and could happen to teens and middle-aged women. SUI is characterized by urine leaking out after a sneeze, cough or even sudden movement.
- Mixed Urinary Incontinence – this is when accidental leakage happens after a person sneezes or coughs. The main difference with SUI is that people with MUI have a strong need to urinate.
- Overactive Bladder – this is when individuals feel the strong need to urinate and unable to delay the urination. Typically, the urge happens right before the urine actually starts to leak out.
Nowadays, incontinence is a widely accepted medical condition that has been properly studied and therefore treated. Doctors have no problem providing the right medication and lifestyle changes to better cope with the condition. At the same time, there are currently incontinence products that can help sufferers live a more normal lifestyle.