Urinary Incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine. The acuteness of the condition ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that is so strong you don’t get to a toilet in time.

What are the Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Stress incontinence: Leakage of urine when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.

Urge incontinence: Sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine.

Overflow incontinence: Frequent or constant dripping of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely.

Functional incontinence: A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time.

Mixed incontinence: When you experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

What are the causes of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is not a disease, it is a symptom. It is caused due to day to day habits, underlying medical conditions or physical problems.

Temporary urinary incontinence

It can be caused due to certain drinks, foods and medications which stimulate the bladder and increase the volume of urine. They include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chocolate
  • Chili peppers
  • Large doses of Vitamin C
  • Foods high in spice, sugar or acid

It can also be caused by the treatable medical condition, such as urinary tract infection and constipation.

Persistent urinary incontinence

It can be a constant condition caused by underlying physical problems or changes such as:

Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and the increased weight of the foetus can lead to stress incontinence.

Childbirth: Normal delivery can weaken muscles which are required for bladder control and damage bladder nerves and supportive tissue

Changes with age: Involuntary bladder contractions become more frequent as you get older.

Menopause: After menopause women produce less oestrogen which is required to keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy.

Hysterectomy: Any surgery that involves a woman’s reproductive system, including removal of the uterus may damage the supporting pelvic floor muscles.

Obstruction: A tumour in the urinary tract can block the normal flow of urine which leads to overflow incontinence.

Neurological disorders: Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, a brain tumour can interfere with nerve signals involved in bladder control which can result in urinary incontinence.

How is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed?

The doctor will start with a thorough history and physical exam. You may be asked to cough to demonstrate incontinence. The doctor will recommend the following tests:

Urinalysis: A sample of urine is checked for signs of infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities.

Bladder Diary: to record how much you drink, when you urinate, the amount of urine you produce and the number of incontinence episodes.

Post-void residual measurement: The doctor will ask you to urinate into a container. Then the doctor will check the amount of leftover urine in the bladder using an ultrasound test.

How is Urinary Incontinence Treated?

  • A combination of treatment is needed to treat urinary incontinence as the treatment depends on the severity and the type of incontinence.
  • The doctor may recommend bladder training, double voiding, scheduled toilet trips and fluid and diet management.
  • The doctor may recommend pelvic floor muscle exercises to strengthen the muscles that help control urination.
  • Electrical stimulation is given by temporarily inserting electrodes into the vagina to stimulate and strength pelvic floor muscles.
  • Several medicines are used to treat urinary incontinence.

If no treatment works, then there are several surgical procedures that are used to treat urinary incontinence. The procedures include:

  • Sling procedures
  • Bladder neck suspension
  • Prolapse surgery
  • Artificial urinary sphincter

If medical treatments are not able to eliminate your incontinence, then you can try absorbent pads and catheters that help ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine.

Why Motherhood?

At Motherhood, the doctors collaborate as team members, so you don’t get just one opinion, you get multiple opinions. Our surgeons are part of the team of doctors who work together to solve patients’ problem.

At Motherhood, we focus on maintaining a family atmosphere which gives you the comfort and security of knowing that you are an important patient.

Motherhood provides a vast array of medical services such as Maternity, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Foetal Medicine, Neonatology, Cosmetology, Fertility, Laparoscopy Surgeries, Endocrinology, 24/7 Laboratory Services, Dermatology, General Surgery for Women, Radiology & Foetal Medicine, Physiotherapy & Lamaze, Physiotherapist, Dietician, MICU with 24/7 Intensives, and Breast Health.

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