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Urinary Incontinence Causes, Types & Methods of Treatment

Overview

The bladder is a hollow organ that holds urine. The kidneys produce urine and send it to the bladder thru two tubes ( the left and right ureters) As urine collects in the bladder, the bladder enlarges like a balloon. When the bladder reaches a certain level of fullness it triggers your urge to void. Normally, you are able to suppress this urge until you can reach the bathroom. When you are ready to urinate, the urine travels from the bladder through the urethra. The urethra is a small tube that goes from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Causes

Following are some of the many causes of Urinary Incontinence.

  • Blocked urethra – from prolapse of the vaginal walls (often described as a bulge from the vagina creating vaginal pressure). The urethra may also be blocked from having previous vaginal or incontinence surgery.
  • Constipation
  • Hormones unbalance in women
  • Being immobile (not being able to move around)
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Some medicines
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vaginal infection
  • Weakness of the bladder or the muscles that hold it in place
  • Weakness of the muscles that keep the urethra closed

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms are different and depend on which type of Urinary Incontinence you have.

What is it?
Urinary (yer-ih-nair-e) incontinence (in-kon-tih-nens) is not being able to control when and where you urinate. People often call this “having an accident” or “wetting yourself.” Urinary Incontinence is not a normal part of aging as many people believe. It is a condition that can be treated, cured, or at least improved.

Different types of incontinence: Stress, Urge & Mixed – Which one do you have?

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Over 17 million adults in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence. It affects both men and women. The prevalence increases with age.  Many people are so embarrassed about having Urinary Incontinence that they won't talk to their doctor. But, Urinary Incontinence can be treated if caregivers know about your problems.

There are different types of urinary incontinence

STRESS: involuntary loss of urine during physical activity – cough, sneeze, lifting, exercise, daily activity
URGE: sudden onset of the strong desire to urinate
MIXED: combination of STRESS and URGE incontinence
OVERFLOW / ENURESIS: involuntary loss of urine without any associated urge to urinate or physical activity. For example – wetting the bed while sleeping.