Urinary incontinence is the inability to control your bladder. The older you get, the higher your chances are of being affected, but it is not inevitable or untreatable.
Urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh. It can also occur as a sudden, strong and uncontrollable urge that leads loss of urine before reaching the toilet. This can lead to severe lifestyle limitations, but it can be avoided with medical management and lifestyle changes.
Let’s first check out the causes of urinary incontinence
Excess intake of diuretic foods such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, chillies, spices, sugar, citrus fruits
Heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives and muscle relaxants
Excessive doses of vitamin C
Urinary tract infection
Tumour/obstruction in the urinary tract
Types of urinary incontinence
This occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing or any activity that exerts a pressure on your bladder.
This results in loss of urine from a sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate.
Your bladder may not empty effectively and so you experience a constant leak of urine.
When you suffer from a physical or mental disability that inhibits you from getting to the toilet before loss of control.
A combination of types, most commonly of stress and urge incontinence.
Diagnostic tests for urinary incontinence
Treatment will depend on the type of incontinence you suffer from. To ascertain the type, you may have to
Take a Urinalysis- to check for infection, abnormalities etc.
Maintain a Bladder diary- a record of how much you drink, when you urinate, the amount of urine you pass, the urge frequency and the incontinence frequency
Take a Postvoid residual measurement- measurement of urine retained in the bladder after you urinate
Treatment for urine incontinence
Treatment will address the underlying cause of the problem. It may be a simple lifestyle change or a combination of therapies according to individual need.
Treatment options include
• Behavioral techniques
• Bladder training, Double voiding, Scheduled voiding, Fluid diet management
• Pelvic floor exercises
• Electrical stimulation
• Medical devices
• Interventional therapies
• Injections, nerve stimulators
• Surgical procedures
• Sling procedure, bladder neck suspension, prolapse surgery, artificial urinary sphincter
• Pads, protective garments, catheter
Urinary incontinence need not curtail your activity. As it can be treated or managed in multiple ways, consulting a doctor is your first step towards freedom.
Consult our experts for the best treatment and management options.