Urinary incontinence, or the inability to control the release of urine from the bladder, affects nearly one in 10 people over age 65. Incontinence occurs when the muscles in the bladder that control the flow of urine contract or relax involuntarily. This results in either leaking or uncontrolled urination.
Urinary incontinence can range from mild occasional leaking to chronic uncontrolled urination. Incontinence itself is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Incontinence may be a temporary problem caused by a urinary tract or vaginal infection, constipation and certain medications, or it can be a chronic condition. The most common causes of chronic incontinence include:
- Overactive bladder muscles
- Weakened pelvic floor muscles
- For some men, an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Nerve damage that affects bladder control.
- Interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder inflammation) or other bladder conditions
- A disability or limitation that makes it difficult to get to the toilet quickly
- Surgical side effects
Are There Different Types of Urinary Incontinence?
While there are many different types of urinary incontinence, the most common include stress incontinence and overactive bladder, also called urge incontinence.
Stress incontinence occurs when there is unexpected leakage of urine caused by pressure or sudden muscle contractions on the bladder. This often occurs during exercise, heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing and even laughing. Stress incontinence is the most common bladder control problem in young and middle-aged women. In younger women, the condition may be due to an inherent weakness of the pelvic floor muscles or an effect of the stress of childbirth. In middle-aged women, stress incontinence may begin to be a problem at menopause.
Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder (OAB), occurs when a person feels the urge to urinate but is unable to hold back the urine long enough to get to a bathroom. Urge incontinence sometimes occurs in people who’ve had a stroke or have chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. In some cases, urge incontinence may be an early sign of cancer of the bladder.
Less common types of incontinence include:
Overflow incontinence: This type results when a person is unable to empty their bladder completely, and it overflows as new urine is produced. Overflow incontinence sometimes occurs in men who have an enlarged prostate. It is also found in people with diabetes or spinal cord injuries.
Functional incontinence: This type of incontinence has less to do with a bladder disorder and more to do with the logistics of getting to a bathroom in time. It is usually found in elderly or disabled people who have normal or near normal bladder control but cannot get to the toilet in time because of mobility limitations or confusion.
Gross total incontinence: This refers to the constant leaking of urine from a bladder that simply has no storage capacity or functioning. This condition may result from an anatomical defect, a spinal cord injury, an abnormal opening in the bladder (fistula) or as an after-effect of urinary tract surgery.
If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, contact a Med Spa Services provider today for a private consultation.
There are many treatment methods available to help you.