It is More Common than People Realize
Urinary incontinence is a lot more prevalent issue than most people think, yet those who experience it frequently find it difficult or unpleasant to discuss.
Urinary incontinence, to put it simply, is the word for pee leakage or a loss of bladder control. More than 25 million Americans endure bladder leaks every day, according to the National Association for Continence.
Although men are not immune to the problem, women who have given birth—particularly those who have delivered vaginally—are more prone to suffer from urine incontinence.
“We believe this is related to the stretching and tearing of tissues that support the pelvis during pregnancy and delivery,” says Joan Blomquist, MD, chief of the division of urogynecology at GBMC. “Other risk factors include genetics, chronic constipation, chronic cough, obesity and smoking.”
The chances of developing incontinence also increase with age.
There are two basic types of incontinence, and each has a different set of symptoms.
According to Dr. Blomquist, “stress incontinence is urine leakage when you do anything bodily, such as cough, sneeze, or engage in activities like leaping or jogging.” “The urethra is supposed to close to retain pee in when coughing or another force applies pressure to the bladder. Urine can leak out if the closing mechanism isn’t functioning properly.
Sometimes symptoms will appear during a cold or a vigorous workout, and other times they will appear frequently during light activity like walking.
The second typical type is urge incontinence, sometimes known as an overactive bladder. The main sign is a strong, abrupt urge to urinate.
Dr. Blomquist says, “This happens because the bladder muscle contracts or spasms without notice. “Some women experience specific triggers, such a temperature change or the sound of running water. Many women who experience urge incontinence frequently use the restroom and may need to get up multiple times throughout the night to urinate”.
Resulting From Incontinence
Although urine incontinence is a medical condition, it can also have a negative influence on a patient’s quality of life and their emotional and mental well-being.
According to Dr. Blomquist, “women who leaks are typically ashamed about the circumstance and may shun social activities they used to enjoy.” They might also stay away from close interactions. If leakage happens during exercise, they might stop working out, which could harm their general health. The cost of incontinence pads might be prohibitive for some women, making them feel financially burdened. Others may have irritation from continuous leaks around the vaginal opening.
How You Can Help
The most crucial thing for anyone suffering with urine incontinence to understand is that support is accessible.
Dr. Blomquist advises that speaking with your healthcare practitioner should be the first step. “A primary care doctor or gynecologists’ can offer some early advice, or they can suggest that you consult a specialist such a urologist or urogynecologist. There are numerous therapy alternatives available; don’t be reluctant to seek assistance”.
Symptoms can be controlled by making lifestyle changes like decreasing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding foods and drinks that aggravate the bladder, such as coffee, chocolate, and spicy meals. Some symptoms may also be alleviated by Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor or a pessary device that elevates the bladder and compresses the urethra. In severe circumstances, surgery can be necessary.
Dr. Blomquist continues, “Other therapies include medicine, Botox injections into the bladder, and overstimulation of the bladder nerve. “At GBMC, we provide all available possibilities. This enables us to customize treatment for each patient based on the type of incontinence, any underlying medical conditions, and their own preferences for what fits their lifestyle the best”.