What is Urinary Incontinence?
It is the loss of bladder control that affects all ages, both sexes and people of every social and economic level. The exact number of people with incontinence is not known, but the total number of people affected may be far greater than current estimates.
Some Possible Cause Of Incontinence
- Diseases & disorders involving nerves and/or muscles
- Blocked urethra due to an enlarged prostate
- Weakness of pelvic floor muscles
- Effects of medication
- Types Of Incontinence
This may be due to poor bladder support or a weak/damaged sphincter. Urine tends to leak, when you cough, sneeze, laugh or walk.
When an overactive bladder contract without your wanting it to do so. You may feel as if you can’t wait to reach a toilet.
When bladder is allowed to become so full that is overflows. This happens when there is bladder muscle weakness or when a blocked urethra prevents normal emptying.
Complete loss of bladder control, usually occurring after some form of surgery to the lower urinary tract.
How To Diagnose Incontinence
The first step is to locate a health care provider who is interested in & well-informed about treating incontinence. Some of the following tests may be performed:
A sample of your urine will be tested for the presence of infection, blood, or other abnormalities.
- Residual urine measurement
This test is performed to see whether any urine remains after you have attempted to empty your bladder.
- Stress Test
While your bladder us full, you may be asked to cough, stand, and do other activities to find out whether these stresses on the bladder cause leakage.
This technique can be used to determine the size and shape of the kidneys, bladder, and prostate.
A thin telescope-like instrument called a cystoscope, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. This test allows the physician to visualise the inside of the bladder to check for problems.
- Urodynamic Testing
Urodynamic tests examine bladder and sphincter muscle function.
Is There Help For A Person Who Leaks Urine?
The answer is yes. Many types of treatment are available for incontinence. The qualified specialist can recommend the treatment that is best for your condition.
- Behavioral therapy
Special exercises and training programs are effective in improving bladder control. Exercises to strengthen the sphincter muscles must be done correctly and faithfully to regain and maintain continence. Bladder retraining (gradually prolonging the time between visits to the toilet), along with reasonable fluid intake, has been helping many people with incontinence.
Medicine can be prescribed to relax the bladder or tighten the sphincter muscles. Review your medication with your health care professional to see what is best suited for your condition.
Several operations for incontinence exist. In men, an operation may be required to relieve the blockage caused by an enlarged prostate. In women, an operation may be requires to restore the support of the pelvic floor muscles or to reconstruct or compress the sphincter. An artificial urinary sphincter may be useful if the sphincter muscle is absent or has been severely damaged, or in patients whose problem has not responded to simpler treatments.
- Other options
Certain materials can be injected around the urethra to add bulk to that area. These serve to compress the urethra and thereby increase resistance to urine flow.
- Absorbent products and devices
For people who are currently participating in a treatment program or whose incontinence cannot be cured, many absorbent products and devices are available for wear.
- You may wish to ask your health care professional for more information on these treatment options