Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control can cause an adult to leak urine by accident. It is quite common among older adults, especially women. It can lead to a fall in self-esteem and it can cause awkward situations in public. Incontinence can be controlled and managed with proper treatment. If the problem goes beyond control, you should consult a proper doctor.

What causes urinary incontinence?

The bladder stores urine in the body. When the muscles around the bladder weaken and don’t work normally, urine can leak without warning. Incontinence can be caused due to various reasons like urinary tract infections, vaginal infection, constipation etc. Even the consumption of medicines can cause temporary loss of bladder control.

If incontinence persists for a long time in older women, it could be due to various reasons like weak and overactive bladder muscles, weak pelvic floor muscles, menopause, damage to bladder controlling nerves due to neurological problems, diabetes, etc. It could be due to arthritis where you may suffer leaks because you are unable to reach the washroom on time. Another reason could be due to pelvic organ prolapse which could cause the bladder, rectum or uterus to shift out of their normal position and cause urine to leak.

There are various types of incontinence depending on the symptoms.

Stress incontinence – This occurs when the leakage is caused by excess pressure on the bladder. Common reasons for this could be while coughing or sneezing, lifting weights or doing exercise. This can begin in women around the time of menopause.

Urge incontinence – This occurs when women feel a sudden rush to urinate but cannot hold it in till they get to a toilet. This could be caused by an underlying diabetes condition. It could also be common in those suffering from Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis etc.

Overflow incontinence – This happens when the bladder is always full and small amounts of urine leak. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can cause this problem in older women.

Functional incontinence- This is quite common in older women even when they have normal bladder function. They may find it difficult to reach the toilet on time because of arthritis or any other condition that slows down movement.

Mixed incontinence – This occurs when you have a combination of factors. Usually, it would be a combination of stress incontinence and a hyperactive bladder which could cause leakage accidents. It is best to identify what triggers the leak to be able to manage it.

Long term urinary incontinence in women could be because of –

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles can affect bladder functioning.
  • A stroke can impact muscle control including the ones that control the bladder.
  • Diabetes leads to excess production of urine leading to leakage problems.
  • Menopause changes the hormone levels in a woman’s body causing the pelvic floor muscles to weaken and affect bladder control.
  • Multiple sclerosis can cause loss of bladder control and incontinence.

It is always advisable to identify the underlying cause that is leading to urinary incontinence so that it can be treated correctly. Some of these are temporary while others may require medical treatment. While you consult a doctor, you can use Lifree adult diapers to keep you dry and comfortable. It will help you lead a normal life without any embarrassment.