There are over 25 million Americans that are affected by urinary incontinence at any given time. If you fall into this demographic, don't feel alone or embarrassed.
A person leaks urine unintentionally when they have this condition, which might be triggered by a variety of factors. Pregnancy, delivery, menopause, and a handful of medical issues are just a few examples of this.
It is not a disease, but it is a symptom of many different diseases. Urinary incontinence can be treated with medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes. Keep reading to learn more about different types of urinary incontinence and your bladder health problems.
Different Types of Urinary Incontinence
Not only are there different causes of this condition, but there are also a few different types to watch out for. Some of these include:
- stress incontinence - urine leakage that occurs when you laugh, cough, or exercise
- urge incontinence - the sudden need to urinate that leads to leakage
- overflow incontinence - a constant dribble of urine
- functional incontinence - difficulty getting to the bathroom in time due to factors such as age or disability
- total incontinence - the complete inability to control urination
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Age is a risk factor for urinary incontinence. As you get older, the muscles in your pelvis weaken, and the supportive tissues stretch, which can lead to incontinence.
Women are also more likely than men to experience incontinence due to pregnancy and childbirth. These can weaken the muscles in your pelvis. Menopause also causes changes in your urinary tract that lead to incontinence.
If you carry excess weight, this can put pressure on your pelvis and bladder, leading to incontinence.
And finally, certain medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke all lead to urinary incontinence.
5 Ways to Prevent Urinary Incontinence
While you can't always prevent urinary incontinence, there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of developing this condition.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts pressure on your bladder and urethra, which can lead to incontinence. Keeping your weight in check will help reduce your risk.
2. Do Your Kegels
These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support your urethra and bladder. Stronger muscles mean less incontinence.
3. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Both of these beverages are diuretics, which means they make you need to urinate more often. This can lead to incontinence if you don't make it to the bathroom in time.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking can irritate your bladder and cause incontinence. Kicking this habit is one of the best things you can do for your bladder health.
5. Wear the Right Protection
If you suffer from incontinence, there are a variety of urological supplies that can help you manage the condition. Absorbent pads and adult diapers can help you stay dry and avoid leaks, while urinary catheters can help drain your bladder if you have overflow incontinence.
Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
There are several treatments available for urinary incontinence. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your incontinence and the underlying cause.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises help strengthen the muscles in your pelvis, which can improve incontinence. Bladder training involves gradually increasing the amount of time between bathroom trips.
There are several medications that can help treat the symptoms of urinary incontinence or you may receive electrical stimulation as treatment. This therapy uses electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves in your pelvis and help strengthen the muscles in your pelvis.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat incontinence.
Now That You Know
Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to control your life. Now that you know the different types of urinary incontinence and ways to prevent them, you can work on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and improving your bladder health.
And there is always help. Complete Care Medical has all the top-of-the-line supplies to support you, including urinary catheters, adult briefs, and absorbent pads. Browse our wide selection here and let us help you take control so you can live your life to the fullest.