Incontinence: What You Need to Know


Urinary incontinence or UI is the loss of bladder control. It is a disorder that affects many people, particularly the elderly and women. The severity comes with age, lifestyle, and health conditions. Accidents and childbirth can also cause it. 

Four common types 

  1. Stress incontinence. This happens when urine leaks out whenever you cough or sneeze. It is the result of using your muscles too much to prevent yourself from urinating. It weakens over time, causing you to leak uncontrollably when under pressure. 
  2. Urge incontinence. This is when you have the sudden, often uncontrollable, need to pee, and urine trickles out before you even reach the toilet. It is caused by an overactive detrusor muscle on your bladder walls, leading to premature urine leakage. 
  3. Overflow incontinence. This is when you can’t fully empty your bladder, so you are constantly leaking. This is because a blockage makes it impossible for you to drain it. 
  4. Total incontinence. Your bladder cannot hold any urine, causing you to pee constantly. A congenital disability or spine injury can often cause this. 

If you suspect that you have UI, do not hesitate to go to the doctor and seek medical advice. 

First, you will undergo a series of tests, such as a pelvic examination for women or rectal for men. In addition, you may be asked to keep a journal to note your fluid intake and the time you went to the bathroom. Your doctor may also advise using incontinence pads or similar products to help you manage this condition.

incontinence diagnosis

How to treat urinary incontinence

Two treatments can be done when you have incontinence: non-surgical or surgical.

  1. Non-surgical treatment is used when UI is mild or when the condition is a symptom of a different illness. Changes to lifestyle by losing weight or reducing caffeine, pelvic muscle exercises, and bladder exercises can all help improve your condition. 
  2. Surgical treatment is also available whenever needed. The type of surgery depends on the kind of urinary incontinence that you have, so make sure to consult your doctor first. 

Helpful incontinence products

Incontinence pads are still the most popular among the other incontinence products. It is always available, reasonably priced, and simple to use. It is ideal for people who have mild to moderate urinary incontinence. 

However, if your urine leaks out heavily, your doctor should give you generic but heavy-duty pads that can absorb all your urine and bed pads, which is just as important as well.


Prevention is key

Leading a healthy lifestyle can significantly minimize the risk of UI. For example, stopping smoking, losing excess weight, exercising and eating more fiber to avoid constipation, and ultimately reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake are some things that can make your body healthier and prevent this condition. 

Urinary incontinence is relatively easy to manage, especially with all the support groups that can readily help you with this condition. However, you must always ask your doctor before trying treatments or products to ensure you are doing the right thing.

Last Updated on August 22, 2022

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