Urinary incontinence is the loss of control over one’s bladder. In certain cases, it results in total loss of the bladder’s contents or just causes minor leakage. The condition may be temporary or lasting, depending on its cause. Incontinence can be due to many different health problems like cancer, kidney stones, or an enlarged prostate. Aging also causes incontinent bladder as the muscles weaken. The condition generally affects people over 50 years of age, but anyone can be affected. Consult a doctor for any instance of incontinence as the condition interferes with daily life, causing embarrassing situations.
There are different types of urinary incontinence:
Stress Incontinence: occurs during some physical activity like during exercising, sneezing, coughing, or laughing. They cause the sphincter muscle, which holds urine in the bladder, to become weak and release urine even with subtle pressure.
Urge Incontinence: is a sudden and strong urge or need, to urinate and the need strike very frequently, and in many cases, people cannot reach the bathroom in time.
Overflow Incontinence: occurs the bladder is not emptied completely in one go, but later, one may lose some urine. It is also called dribbling.
There are many causes of bladder incontinence like aging, cancer, physical damage, infection, or neurological disorders. Some cases are temporary and are often caused by an external factor like drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol, or too much intake of any fluid. Some medications like blood pressure drugs, sedatives, muscle relaxants, also lead to a short spell of incontinence. Certain conditions like constipation can increase the urge to urinate because the compacted stool can make the nerves controlling your bladder overact. With increasing age, the bladder muscle weaken making incontinence more likely. Damage caused to one’s pelvic floor muscles can also lead to incontinence, since they muscles support the bladder. In nearly all men, the prostate gland enlarges with age, causing Urine incontinence as a result. A tumor can also cause incontinence by blocking the usual flow of urine.
Consult a doctor if you feel like you may be having problem emptying the bladder fully. Tell in detail about your condition, so that he/she can determine which type of incontinence you are experiencing. One can also take care of incontinence at home. Ask your doctor for exercise of physical activities to strengthen the pelvic muscles. Have a clear and easy path to the bathroom, keep a night light on, and use absorbent undergarments when you leave the house to prevent accidents.