What is urinary incontinence?
Know the basics
What is urinary incontinence?
Urine leakage, also known as urinary incontinence, a condition in which you cannot control process of urination. Patients lose the ability to control bladder. The results are urinating out and many people need to wear diapers when they have this problem. Although urine incontinence makes patient embarrassed, they should know that this is a common complication.
How common is urinary incontinence?
Urine leakage is a very common disease. The disease usually affects women more than men; with 60% of sufferers are women.
It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
For very mild disease, small amounts of urine sometimes ooze (drip) when coughing or sneezing, or on the way to toilet. For mild to moderate disease, urine drips out every day and you need to use absorbent pads. For severe disease, urine can flow out every couple of sponge every day. Urine incontinence may limit daily activities.
There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
In some cases, the disease can hinder daily activities. Call your doctor if:
- Urinating too often.
- Affect quality of life.
These are quite important because urine leakage can cause:
- A symptom of a serious disease.
- Limit your social activities.
Increased risk of fall in the elderly when they have to rush to the toilet.
Know the causes
What causes urinary incontinence?
The three most common forms of urinary incontinence are caused by increased abdominal pressure, urgent urinary leakage and urine leakage when the bladder is full.
- Abdominal pressure happens when performing certain activities such as coughing, sneezing, lifting, exercise. It can also be caused by pregnancy, childbirth or aging.
- Urgent urination leakage periodically drain urine when going to the toilet urgently. The disease can be caused by smoking, caffeine, alcohol beverages or aging.
- Paint urine when the bladder is always full of urine. The patient is feeling bladder not empty and urine will drip all day. Many bladder problems will become worse when menopause.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for urinary incontinence?
There are many risk factors for this disease such as:
- Gender: female are at higher risk of due to increased abdominal pressure. This difference is caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and female anatomy. But men with prostate problems are at urine leakage risk when going to the toilet urgently or having overfilled bladder.
- Age: as you get older, bladder and urethra muscles is weaken. These changes reduce the amount of urine that the bladder can hold and it increases risk of disease.
- Overweight: this situation increases pressure on muscles of bladder and surrounding muscles, causing them to be weakened and urinary incontinence when coughing or sneezing.
- Other diseases such as neuropathy or diabetes also increase the risk of urinary incontinence.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?
Pelvic muscle strengthening is often the first step to control urinary incontinence caused by increased abdominal pressure. Exercise helps strengthen muscles called Kegel exercises. If Kegel exercises do not help, special physiotherapy can improve bladder control. These therapies include biofeedback and electrical stimulation.
The special device called a lifting loop is available for treatment of urinary incontinence caused by increased abdominal pressure. These devices can be used to support agencies such as bladder. Sometimes loop lifting is only useful when urinary incontinence in some specific activity, such as jogging, aerobics and horse racing.
The first step in treatment of urgent urinary incontinence is to practice to go toilet at certain times. You can adjust 3 hours for each time during a day without urine leaking out. Sometimes medication can support bladder muscle workout. These drugs can cause dry mouth or eyes, but generally it can be effective with the disease. More surgery may be used to treat urinary incontinence caused by increased abdominal pressure. Specialists such as gynecologists or urologist will perform this surgery.
How is urinary incontinence treated?
Diagnosis involves looking at history, X-rays, blood tests, urine and other tests to check for bladder. These tests called urodynamic, manometry in bladder, urine flow and urine left in the bladder after urination.
The tests that doctors can recommend as:
- General urine analysis: check urine samples for signs of infection, blood or other abnormalities.
- Logging bladder: Within several days you will record water intake, time of urination, urine output, urgent urinary and number of urine leakage.
- Measurement of residual urine after urination. You will be asked to urinate into a container with a volume measuring bar. Then the doctor will check the amount of urine left in bladder by using a catheter or ultrasound. The residual urine volume also shows you urinary tract obstruction or problems with muscles or nerves of bladder.
If you need more information, the doctor can specify:
- Urodynamic testing. The doctor or nurse will put a catheter into urethra, bladder and water pump. Meanwhile, a pressure gauge will measure and record the pressure inside bladder. This test helps measure muscle strength of bladder and urethral sphincter, which is important to distinguish type of urinary incontinence.
- The doctor puts a thin tube with a small lens into urethra. Your doctor will check and remove urinary tract abnormalities, if any.
- Screen bladder. The doctor put cardboard tube into urethra, bladder and dye injected into it. When you urinate and push the total volume of this medicine out, X-ray films bladder will help figure out the problems of the urinary tract.
- Pelvic ultrasound to check for abnormal urinary or reproductive system.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage urinary incontinence?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with this disease:
- Practice Kegel exercises correctly.
- Take the medication as directed.
- Take care to avoid skin irritation.
- Use a clean towel.
- Dry skin naturally in the air.
- Avoid washing and soaking water too often because it may lose the effect of barrier protection against bladder infections.
- Consider using protective creams, such as petroleum oil or cocoa butter.
- If you have to urinate urgently or at night, make the toilet more convenient:
- Move the carpet or furniture that you might slip or stumble on the way to the toilet.
Turn on the lights to illuminate the way, reduce the risk of falls.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017