What is urinary incontinence?      

Urinary incontinence, or the inability to control one’s bladder, is a frequent and uncomfortable problem – especially common in women. The intensity might range from frequently leaking pee when you sneeze or cough to having a sudden and severe urge to urinate that prevents you from reaching a toilet in time. Urinary incontinence is not a natural part of aging; however, it does become more common as people become older. If urine incontinence is interfering with your everyday activities and hampering your work, then you should see your doctor. Symptoms of urine incontinence in women can usually be treated with easy dietary and lifestyle adjustments, as well as through medications or in some conditions through surgery.

Urine Incontinence Causes in females

It is frequently triggered by particular changes in body function that might happen as a consequence of diseases, usage of specific medicines, or neurological problem, and diabetes. It can be the only sign of a urinary tract infection in some cases. Urinary incontinence in women is most prevalent during pregnancy and after delivery, as well as due to hormonal imbalances after menopause.

Types

  • Urge incontinence – You may suddenly experience a strong urge to urinate, which is followed by an abrupt loss of urine. You may also need to urinate frequently, including nighttime. Urge incontinence can be caused by a small ailment, such as a virus, or a more serious ailment, such as diabetes or a neurologic problem.
  • Overflow incontinence – Due to a bladder that does not empty entirely, you may endure frequent or continual leaking of pee.
  • Stress incontinence – Coughing, laughing, working out, or carrying something heavy puts strain on your bladder, causing urine to leak without control.
  • Functional incontinence – You are unable to make it to the restroom on time due to a physical or emotional component. You might not be able to unzip your jeans fast enough if you have severe arthritis, for instance.
  • Mixed incontinence – Mixed incontinence is a type of incontinence that occurs when you have more than one form of urine incontinence.

Symptoms

  • Having to race to the bathroom and/or leaking urine if you don’t get there quickly enough.
  • Urine leaks during physical activity or body movements.
  • Urine leakage that inhibits activity.
  • Wheezing, sneezing, or laughing might cause urine leakage.
  • Urine leakage that starts or persists after surgery.
  • Urine leakage creates low self-esteem.
  • Feeling moist all the time but no signs of urine leaks.
  • Feeling as if your bladder isn’t emptying completely.

When to See a doctor

You might be hesitant to talk to your doctor about incontinence. However, if leakage is bothering you or compromising your standard of living, you should seek medical help since urinary incontinence can lead to:

  • limited performance and social connections.
  • Negative effect on your standard of living
  • Every time impatiently run to the bathroom – elderly women are more likely to collapse while doing so.
  • Creates a lot of mental and emotional turmoil.

Sometimes urinary incontinence in women could be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – Stress incontinence is more common in women. This discrepancy is due to pregnancy, delivery, menopause, and typical female physiology.
  • Age – The muscles in your bladder and kidneys lose part of their strength as you get age. Variations in your bladder capacity as you get older lower the amount of urine you can store and raise the possibilities of involuntary urine leakage.
  • Being overweight is a problem. Extra fat puts strain on your bladder and adjacent muscles, causing them to weaken and spill urine when you sneeze or cough.
  • Smoking – Tobacco use raises your chances of developing urinary incontinence.
  • History of the family – If a close relative suffers from urine incontinence, particularly urge incontinence, your chances of having it also increase.
  • Incontinence can be exacerbated by neurological diseases and diabetes.

Prevention

  • Keep a healthy body weight.
  • Exercise your pelvic floor (Pelvic floor muscle training /Kegel exercises)
  • Avoid coffee, wine, and acidic foods – these are all bladder irritants.
  • Consume more fiber to avoid constipation, which is a common cause of urinary incontinence.
  • If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke or get help to quit smoking.

Bottom Line

Urinary incontinence in women is a most common problem, but if your symptoms aggravate, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. Delaying treatment may lead to detrimental consequences.