Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects a person’s ability to control their bladder. For many, incontinence is a hush-hush topic that leads to misconceptions and assumptions about the condition. Here are three things you need to know about incontinence:
- Urinary incontinence does not discriminate.
There’s a common misconception that incontinence only affects pregnant women and elderly adults. While these two groups do make up a majority of the incontinent group, the condition does affect men, teens, non-pregnant women – anyone, young or old. Causes of incontinence may include chronic constipation, spinal cord injuries, surgery, diet, and interstitial cystitis.
Pelvic floor therapy, such as kegel exercises, has been regarded as the first line of treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Surgery is often the last resort when all other treatment options have been explored. However, findings from a new Dutch study have shown that sling surgery offered better results for women with stress incontinence.
The study, led by Julien Labrie, MD, of University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading
Out of the six types of urinary incontinence, stress incontinence and urge incontinence are the most common. Read on to find out the distinct differences of the two:
Stress urinary incontinence occurs when you experience involuntary leaks when pressure is put onto the bladder. This means you may experience urine leakage during physical activity, such as running, sneezing, coughing, or lifting. Some people may lose just a few drops, while others may need a change of clothing. Lightweight incontinence pads and male guards are often used to manage leaks.
More common in women, stress incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors. This includes:
“I recently became a caregiver for my elderly mom. She has heavy incontinence and is unable to change herself due to her painful arthritis. She needs protection but how do I know which type or style to choose?”
Since your mother is limited in dexterity and mobility, the best type of incontinence product for her would be a disposable adult brief. These are commonly called adult diapers and resemble much like regular baby diapers. Adult briefs offer the most absorbent protection and typically feature four side fasteners that apply front to back for full coverage. These fasteners will make it easy for you to change your mother whether she’s standing, sitting, or lying down. Adult diapers are best for heavy incontinence, fecal incontinence, and adult bedwetting.
Pelvic floor exercises are often recommended as the first line of treatment for stress incontinence. The exercises, also known as kegels, are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor. Your kegel muscles, or pubococcygeus (PC) muscles, provide support for bladder, uterus, and bowel; if they’re weakened, you may have trouble controlling your bladder or bowel. Common causes of pelvic floor weakness include pregnancy, prostate surgery, enlarged prostate, obesity, and menopause.
Kegel exercises can be done by both men and women. They involve repeated contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. The exercises are pretty simple, but one of the hardest parts about it is finding the correct muscles to squeeze.