Urinary incontinence can happen for many reasons, including urinary tract infections, vaginal infections or irritation, or constipation. Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control and is a common problem people experience when getting older. Urinary incontinence isn’t a disease alone but a symptom of other issues.
However, some medications can cause bladder control problems that last a short time; prolonged Urinary incontinence is caused by Weak bladder or pelvic floor muscles.
What causes incontinence to last longer?
- Overactive bladder muscles
- Damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease.
- Diseases such as arthritis may make getting to the bathroom on time difficult.Pelvic organ prolapse is when pelvic organs (such as the bladder, rectum, or uterus) shift out of their usual place into the vagina or anus. When pelvic organs are out of place, the bladder and urethra cannot work typically, which may cause urine to leak.
However, many people experience occasional, minor leaks of urine. Others may lose small to moderate amounts of urine more frequently. Urinary incontinence is divided into different types; you can experience more than one type simultaneously.
What are the types of urinary incontinence?
- Stress incontinence. Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting something heavy.
- Urge incontinence. You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more severe illness, such as a neurological disorder or diabetes.
- Overflow incontinence. You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty.
- Functional incontinence. A physical or mental impairment keeps you from returning to the toilet quickly. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may be unable to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
- Mixed incontinence. You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence — most often, this refers to a combination of stress and urges incontinence.
Passing urine becomes a problem as you age; you experience problems with passing urine, such as a slow stream of urine, straining to pass urine, or stopping and starting as you pass urine; and concerns after you’ve passed urine, such as feeling that you’ve not completely emptied your bladder or passing a few drops of urine after you think you’ve finished. There are a few symptoms linked to urinary incontinence.
What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
- Leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising
- Feeling sudden, uncontrollable urges to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Waking up many times at night to urinate
- Urinating during sleep
Urinary incontinence rarely goes away on its own. But there are steps you can take to help relieve your symptoms.
How to decrease the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Practice pelvic floor exercises.
- Avoid bladder irritants like caffeine, alcohol, and acidic foods.
- Eat more fiber, which can prevent constipation, a cause of urinary incontinence.
- Don’t smoke or seek help to quit if you’re a smoker.
Consult an Intercare doctor if you have symptoms of a bladder problem, such as trouble urinating, a loss of bladder control, waking to use the bathroom, pelvic pain, or leaking urine. Bladder problems can affect your quality of life and cause other health problems.