Do you suffer from having urine leakage because of the occasional cough or sneeze? Does the strong and sudden urge to urinate cause you to have difficulty making it to a bathroom? Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine and it affects over 18 million adults. The condition occurs when the sphincter muscle, which holds the bladder neck, is not strong enough to retain urine in the bladder, creating incontinence. Eighty-five percent of those affected are female. Incontinence can occur when the sphincter is too weak, the bladder muscles contract strongly, or the bladder is not emptied regularly. Within men, there is a link between incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
5 Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are four major types of urinary incontinence: stress, urge, overflow, and total. Some doctors include functional incontinence as a fifth form.
- Stress incontinence is when urine is released due to pressure applied to the bladder, like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects.
- Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder contracts at the wrong time and gives you the feeling you need to urinate immediately although your bladder is empty.
- Overflow incontinence can be defined as when the bladder is improperly emptied and it results in leaking. The overflow can be due to other conditions such as an enlarged prostate.
- Total incontinence is continual leakage due to complete sphincter deficiency.
- Functional incontinence is caused by having difficulty using the toilet when you need to urinate due to separate bodily issues. These issues can range from back pain, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Female Urinary Incontinence
Women have three additional forms of urinary incontinence: hypermobility, intrinsic sphincter, and pelvic prolapse (or dropped bladder). Hypermobility can result from childbirth, pelvic surgery, or hormonal changes. Intrinsic sphincter (ISD) refers to the weakening of the urethral sphincter muscles or closing mechanism. Pelvic prolapsed (or dropped bladder) occurs when your pelvic organ slips down into the body. This problem affects over three million women in the United States.
Behavioral Modifications to Treat Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is treated in several ways which can help you return to a more natural lifestyle. Treatment options include behavioral modification, physical therapy, medication, and minimally-invasive surgery. Some behavioral modifications include changing your nutrition, weight management, and lifestyle changes. In this article we would like to discuss behavioral modifications more in depth.
Nutritional changes are used when people link their incontinence to their dietary habits, such as drinking alcohol or eating spicy food. This can also lead into the second behavioral modification, weight gain.
Obesity is a major cause for urinary incontinence, so even losing a small amount of weight can show a change in urinary urge. Doctors can recommend dietary changes and exercise plans in order to lose weight.
Some lifestyle changes that are suggested to help urinary incontinence include smoking cessation, not drinking close to bedtime, and having timely bowel and urinary movements. Hormone replacement therapy, medication, biofeedback, and urge suppression techniques are other lifestyle changes that your doctor can inform and teach you about.
Contact Urology Specialists Today
If you are one of the 18 million adults suffering from urinary incontinence, please consult your physician at USofGA and they will help you find the root of your urinary incontinence, and find the best method to solve it.