If you lose control over your bladder involuntarily, the condition is known as urinary incontinence. The format of the female urinary system, pregnancy, child delivery, and menopause all cause incontinence to occur twice as often in women than in men. In addition, older women tend to experience the loss of bladder control more frequently than younger women. Fortunately, with the help of womens healthcare physicians OB/GYN, the condition is treatable and curable for most cases.
What Can Cause Urinary Incontinence in Women?
Urinary incontinence happens, because of issues with the muscles and nerves that control the flow of urine. Water and waste material from the kidneys form urine, which is then stored in a balloon-like organ called the bladder. From the bladder, the urine flows through the urethra (a tube) and passes out of the body.
When you urinate, bladder muscles contract to force urine into the urethra. During that moment, the sphincter muscles near the urethra also relax, allowing urine to leave your body.
Urinary incontinence happens if your bladder muscles experience sudden contraction or if your sphincter muscles are too weak to hold back the urine. The waste matter may pass out with lower pressure than normal if the muscles have a problem, leading to a change in the bladder’s position.
Obesity is one of the conditions that can increase abdominal pressure, and make incontinence worse. Thankfully, weight loss can mitigate the severity of the condition.
Apart from being overweight, the following conditions can also cause female urinary incontinence:
- Giving birth to children
- Weak or overactive bladder muscles
- Nerve Damage
- Urinary tract infection
- Changes with age
- An obstruction in the urinary tract like a tumor, or urinary stones
- Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, spinal injury, a stroke or multiple sclerosis
- Family history
Certain beverages, foods, and medications that serve as diuretics may lead to temporary urinary incontinence
How is Urinary Incontinence Treated?
This condition linked to infections, kidney stones and some types of medical drugs usually resolves when the main issue is treated well.
Chronic incontinence can come from a range of circumstances, and treatment is tailored to each patient’s situation. Here are some of the treatment techniques for chronic incontinence in females:
- Muscle Strengthening: Simple exercises to boost the strength of the pelvic floor and sphincter muscles helps to decrease or eliminate unintentional leakage. Another muscle strengthening approach is electrical stimulation, and it temporarily puts tiny electrodes on the skin surrounding the affected muscles or in the vagina or rectum
- Medications: Several drugs can help to decrease leakage by stabilizing muscle contractions. Hormone replacement therapy, which typically involves estrogen, can restore proper bladder function
- Biofeedback: It is a technique that utilizes measuring equipment to give you awareness of your bodily functions. Through the use of electronic devices or diaries, you can keep track of bladder and urethral muscle contractions, and gain control over them
- Injections: Various bulking agents, like collagen and carbon spheres, can be injected close to the urinary sphincter to offer relief
- Surgery: In some females, the bladder may move away from its right position, particularly after child delivery. Surgeons have come up with a variety of methods to support the bladder into its right position, including retropubic suspension and sling procedures
If you’re suffering from some form of incontinence, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a doctor.