Urinary Incontinence is loss of bladder control that causes uncontrolled leakage of urine. The severity of the condition ranges from urine leaking when sneezing or coughing or exercising to having a constant urgent to urinate after emptying your bladder. For some the urge can be so intense it can impede the ability to hold urine.
Urinary incontinence can occur in all age groups but is most common in women between the ages of 30 to 70 that have had vaginal deliveries and elderly men and women. The elderly struggle with urinary incontinence because as we age bladder muscles become weakened and incontinence becomes more prevalent. Regardless of your age if one struggles with bladder leakage or with bladder control please see a medical professional; there are many treatment options available that can improve your quality of life.
Stress and urge or overactive bladder are the main types of incontinence and both are further divided as temporary or persistent. Urinary incontinence that is most common and is subdivided further most typically with focus on the bladder.
Types of Incontinence
There are two main types of urinary incontinence and they are highlighted below.
- Stress Incontinence
- Overactive Bladder
Stress Incontinence is involuntary leakage when pressure increases in the abdomen. It can happen unintentionally while exercising, coughing or sneezing that puts pressure on the bladder. Stress incontinence is a problem that often affects women, and the common cause is weakness in the bladder neck or of the pelvic muscles. Stress incontinence is most common in women that have had vaginal deliveries
The muscles managing the outflow of urine weaken and they are no longer able to control urine flow and leakage occurs.
Pelvic muscle weakness can be caused by many things the most common are:
- Excess weight
- Chronic cough or constipation
- Surgery – especially prostate surgery in men
A person struggling with an overactive bladder may not always have incontinence. This condition is urge incontinence. The sudden need to urinate can come on quickly and be sudden and it can affect a person’s quality of life. Usual symptoms are as follows.
- The urgency to pass urine, and sometimes experiencing leaks even before reaching the bathroom.
- Needing to pass urine frequently.
- Waking up many times a night to use the bathroom.
See a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Overflow incontinence urinary incontinence is an involuntary condition when the bladder neck is restricted and there is bladder overflow. Often is the absence of any urge to urinate. It is more commonly found in men because the prostate gland regulates the urethra, enlarges, and makes it difficult to pass urine.
A different cause of overflow incontinence is chronic constipation.
Symptoms of overflow incontinence are:
- Passing little amount of urine often
- Poor urine flow
- Hesitancy in passing urine
- Absence of any urge to urinate
Reflex incontinence is a similar condition to urge incontinence when the bladder muscle contractor spasm and you have a sudden urge to urinate. The urine flows without any control. This can be a result of damage to the nerves that pass a message from the brain to the bladder
People with severe neurological impairment from spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or other injuries suffer from reflex incontinence.
Functional incontinence is a condition one may suffer because of other illnesses or disabilities which impedes the ability to get to a bathroom. For instance, if an illness has left one unaware of the need to use the bathroom, one would become incontinent. Apart from mental illness, medications, or even dementia some people are aware they need to use bathroom but are unable manage the timeline they need to make it the bathroom on time. This signaling misstep of the brain creates incontinence.
Even though your urinary tract is working fine, it can be tough to avoid accidents when you cannot reach the bathroom and this issue can affect anyone who faces challenges reaching the bathroom on time.
Medications may cause passing of large amounts of urine that can lead to incontinence. Please see a doctor if you are on medication and notice any changes in your level of incontinence.
How Common Is Incontinence in Adults?
Of the two types of incontinence, urinary incontinence is common in adults.
24 million women were surveyed, and, 38% said they suffered urinary incontinence at least once in the last year. Among these,
- 10% of women who had bladder control issues suffered incontinence every week.
- Around 14% of women having the inability to control their bladder suffered the problem every day.
- 12% of women between the age of 60 and 64 suffered from everyday incontinence, and the number increases to 21% for women above 85 years.
Not just women, 9% of men suffer from incontinence. Among these,
- 29% of men have stress urinary incontinence, which means they have trouble controlling their bladder while laughing, exercising, sneezing, or coughing.
- Around 40% of men were reported having urge urinary incontinence, which means a sudden urge to urinate.
- 30% of men with prostate issues also faced urinary incontinence.
Are You Suffering from One of The Types of Incontinence?
Do you face bladder control issues but not sure if you should seek medical help. Ask yourself:
- Do you often rush to use the bathroom?
- Do you sometimes feel that you have not emptied your bladder completely?
- Do you wake up more than twice during the night to visit the bathroom?
- Are you nervous because you think you may not be able to control your bladder or bowel?
- Do you sometimes leak while exercising or playing a sport?
- Do you sometimes leak even before reaching a bathroom?
- Do you sometimes leak when you change your position, from lying down to standing?
- Do you look for the nearest bathroom when planning your daily activities?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have an incontinence problem. Please seek a professional medical opinion.
Types of Incontinence and Its Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is the Most Common Type of Incontinence?
The two most common types of incontinence are stress and urge incontinence, known as overactive bladder. Women are more prone to incontinence when compared to men, mainly because of menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth. Urinary incontinence is common in elderly and can be treated.
Can Stress Incontinence Be Cured?
Yes, stress incontinence can be treated. Treatments that are available reduce the effects and or severity of incontinence. It is wise to see a doctor when you notice signs of incontinence and do not try to treat yourself. In some cases stress incontinence can be remitted and return a patient to continence.
Why Am I Peeing While Coughing?
The most common cause of urinating while coughing is because bladder muscles are weak. Weekend muscles relax the pelvic floor muscles, causing the urine to leak through the urethra and then out of the body.
How Do I Strengthen My Weak Bladder Muscles?
The best solution is Kegel repetitions. This exercise can strengthen weak muscles and improve bladder control. To perform the exercise, squeeze the muscles of your pelvic area and then relax. If you do not know how to do it, stop urinating midway for five seconds the next time you visit the restroom and then relax for five seconds.
The number of times you must do the exercise depends on your incontinence symptoms, a doctor can help you evaluate which therapy or medications are best for you.
We hope to have helped you understand the different types of incontinence. If you have questions or need help in addressing this issue further, feel free to reach out to us at 1-833-532-5668, or set up an appointment with experts at one of our ConfidentMe HealthCare Centers.