Urinary incontinence is a condition wherein a person is unable to control urine, thus urine leaks. Sudden urinary incontinence can be due to aging, weak pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincters, physical and neurologic issues. Its occurrence is more to females than in males. Suffering urinary incontinence is difficult because as much as possible a person would want to stay near the restrooms especially when outdoors. This hinders a person to perform day-to-day activities without worrying that he might get embarrassed if unable to control urine.
Here are common symptoms of sudden urinary incontinence but appearance would depend on the type of the incontinence:
- Urine leaks when coughing ,sneezing, jumping, and laughing
- Intense urge to urinate even bladder is not full
- Urine dribbling due to incomplete bladder emptying
- Unable to reach the restroom due to physical or neurologic impairment
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Types of sudden urinary incontinence and how it affects an individual:
- Stress Incontinence: urine leaks because of weak urethral sphincters and pelvic floor muscles. Whenever pressure is laid on the bladder such as sneezing, laughing, coughing, or bringing up bulky objects, the urine leaks.
- Urge Incontinence: known as overactive bladder (OAB), a strong urge to urinate even the bladder is not full because the bladder contracts even though it shouldn’t. This causes a urine leak passing through the urethral sphincter that closes the bladder. Does urge incontinence go away? No, you have to speak with your urologist for proper treatment.
- Mixed Incontinence: urge vs stress incontinence, the person suffers both urinary incontinence types at the same time.
- Overflow Incontinence: a person cannot feel any urge to urinate even the bladder is full. Urine leak or dribbling of urine happens because the bladder is unable to empty. This usually happens to a male who has prostate enlargement that causes obstruction to the urethra.
- Functional Incontinence: physical or neurologic impairment hinders a person to get to the comfort room in time even the bladder is functioning perfectly. Physical impairment includes arthritis, and neurologic impairment includes dementia, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles: due to multiple vaginal deliveries, previous hysterectomy
- Weak bladder and urethral sphincters: due to menopause, production of less estrogen; aging, a natural phenomenon wherein muscles and organs begin to deteriorate and lose its functioning.
- Obstruction in the urethra: urinary stones, enlargement of prostate, tumors
- Loss of bladder control: Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain, and spinal cord injury
- Gender: stress incontinence is more prevalent in women, females post-vaginal deliveries, post-hysterectomy females, menopause
- Age: muscles, and organs weaken as a person ages
- Obesity: excess fats on the body put more pressure on the bladder
- Smoking: causing chronic cough, can result in periods of incontinence
- Injury: brain and spinal cord injury can lose bladder control
- Diseases: stroke, diabetes, kidney problems, neurologic problems: Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
- Urinary tract infections: frequent and prolonged use of catheters
- Skin breakdown: high risk to develop rashes, sores, and infection due to wetness on the skin.
- Prolapse: weak pelvic floor muscles can cause prolapse of vagina, bladder, and urethra.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Perform pelvic floor exercises.
- Control consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages
- Eat a healthy diet and add more fiber to meals.
- Quit smoking
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