Urinary Incontinence and Bladder Weakness
Urinary incontinence is an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition that has affected the lives of many people. Whether it’s a minor issue or a major one, it has a negative effect on the lives of those who suffer from it.
The primary symptom of urinary incontinence is the unintentional leakage of urine, which can be either in small or large amounts. You may leak urine when you sneeze, laugh, cough, or exercise. Some people have difficulty holding their bladder at any time and may urinate excessively when trying to reach the bathroom.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Your urinary system gets rid of waste products from your body by creating and expelling urine. When your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra all work together seamlessly, you still have time to go to the bathroom to urinate. But when they don’t, it could lead to a condition called urinary incontinence.
Contrary to the common notion, the loss of bladder control is not a normal or inevitable part of ageing. Although it’s true that older people are more at risk, other factors should be considered aside from age, because not every aged person is affected.
What Are The Causes Of Urinary Incontinence?
Bladder weakness or the loss of bladder control can happen due to several things. If you are a sufferer, you will need to see a doctor to determine the reason behind your urinary incontinence.
However, the most common contributing causes are the following:
- Certain foods, drinks, and drugs act as diuretics, which could lead to frequent urination and sometimes incontinence.
- Medical conditions, such as urinary tract infection or constipation.
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy can trigger stress incontinence.
- Physical changes after childbirth.
- Enlargement of the prostate gland.
- Prostate cancer.
- Neurological disorder.
What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Urinary Incontinence?
- Gender. Both men and women may suffer from urinary incontinence. But women have a higher risk because of their physical anatomy, hormonal changes, and physical changes during pregnancy and after childbirth.
- Age. Older people are more at risk because muscles weaken as they age and that includes the urethra and the bladder.
- Excess Weight. Extra pressure is placed on the muscles of the urinary system, which could lead to bladder weakness.
- Genetics. A family history of urinary incontinence can increase your risk of developing this condition.
- Diabetes. Excess sugar can make you urinate more.
- Neurological Conditions. They can interrupt nerve signals that are important to bladder control.
What Are The Different Types Of Urinary Incontinence?
• Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence occurs when any physical activity exerts pressure on your bladder and leads to the unintentional leaking of urine. This type of incontinence happens when the urethral sphincter or the floor muscles in your pelvis can no longer hold in urine due to weakening or damage.
• Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence is characterized by an overactive bladder, which means you have the urge to urinate even if your bladder is not yet full. This condition is triggered by detrusor overactivity or when the detrusor, also known as the bladder muscle, contracts and sends signals to your brain that you need to urinate.
• Mixed Incontinence
Mixed incontinence means you have both stress and urge incontinence. It’s common among women but can also happen among men, especially those who have had their prostate gland removed.
• Overflow Incontinence
With overflow incontinence, you may or may not feel any urge to urinate. Your bladder doesn’t empty completely because of an underactive bladder muscle or enlargement of the prostate gland, which blocks the proper flow of urine from the bladder. Men are more predisposed to overflow incontinence because it’s often tied to prostate-related concerns.
• Functional Incontinence
Functional incontinence means you have a fully functional urinary system, but you also have an illness or disease that’s preventing you from controlling your bladder. This condition is common among people with dementia or mental illness. Medications that also act as a diuretic can lead to nocturnal incontinence.
• Reflex Incontinence
Reflex incontinence is common among people who have suffered spinal cord injuries or are afflicted with neurological problems due to multiple sclerosis. In this condition, the nerves that send signals to your brain that your bladder is full have been damaged. Because of this, you won’t feel any urge or warning when your bladder contracts and urine leaks.
By knowing what urinary incontinence is, as well as its causes, risk factors, and types, you’ll understand the condition better. Consult a doctor right away if you or your loved one is suffering from this condition. You may feel uncomfortable discussing this problem but seeking medical advice will help you address the problem as effectively as possible.