Urinary incontinence: Explained!
Summary – Urinary incontinence is one of the difficult physical conditions which happens to older adults. Continue reading to get a detailed description of what it is, why it happens and a few of its common types.
Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary release of urine which is caused by a weak bladder control. This happens either when a person loses control over the urinary sphincter or it gets weakened. Even though people of any age can succumb to it at any point in life, the older adults are more at risk. While younger adults can experience a speedy recovery by following a few easy lifestyle changes and bladder strengthening exercises, older people often need to seek serious medical assistance along with those lifestyle changes. However, not every older adult is going to suffer from it but a few of them depending on their medical history and health conditions.
The reason why it mostly happens to older adults is that with age, the urinary system of a person changes which includes the urethra, kidney and bladder which often triggers urinary leakage. It is more common in women as opposed to men. Around 58% of women and 5-15% of men are likely to suffer from urinary incontinence.
Below are three different types and symptoms of Urinary incontinence –
Stress incontinence refers to the leakage which takes place whenever there is a sudden pressure on the bladder such as while laughing, sneezing, coughing, jumping or doing anything which can put an abrupt pressure on the bladder. The term stress here does not mean any emotional distress but pressure on the bladder. Women are more at risk of succumbing to stress incontinence as opposed to men. It happens when the muscles and tissues which support the urethra and muscles which control the urine release get weak.
When you feel a sudden urge to empty your bladder you know you have urge incontinence. This urge is so sudden that it can often result in complete emptying of the bladder before you can make it to the toilet. This makes it the most difficult type of urinary incontinence as opposed to the others. What happens in urge incontinence is the urinary bladder experiences contractions when it is not supposed to. This causes some urine to leak through the sphincter muscles.
As the name suggests, mixed incontinence refers to the combination of both stress and urge incontinence. It includes the symptoms of both kinds such as leakage as you laugh, sneeze, cough, laugh, etc. and also have a persistent urge to empty your bladder. The treatment of mixed incontinence includes both the approaches used for stress and urge incontinence.
There are different treatments available for these types and one of them is performing some bladder strengthening exercises such as Kegel exercises. These are recommended by doctors as well. They can be performed anywhere anytime without much effort from your end. Just pretend that you are trying to stop the urine from flowing naturally, squeeze in the muscles for about ten to fifteen seconds and then release. Repeat two to three sets of ten repetitions every day to see a major difference to how your bladder feels. But, if you are already seeking medical help, discuss with your doctor before beginning with these exercises.