Get The Facts About Stress Urinary Incontinence
rnUrinary Incontinence is a health condition in which you involuntarily or accidentally leak urine. Urinary Incontinence occurs when the muscles that control your urine flow are too weak or too active. The bladder and urethra are controlled by pelvic floor muscles that enable urine to flow from your bladder, through the urethra and out of your body. At the opening of the bladder the sphincter muscle squeezes to keep urine from leaking through the urethra. The majority of people can hold over two 2 cups of urine in their bladder, so when these muscles dont function properly you may experience involuntary leakage.rnrnStress Urinary Incontinence is a specific form of Urinary Incontinence. Stress Incontinence is not related to psychological stress, it refers to a physical stress on the pelvic floor muscles and organs. Stress Incontinence occurs when urine leakage is caused by exerted pressure on your bladder. When your pelvic floor muscles weaken, urine easily passes through the urethra. Therefore, when you place pressure on your bladder with activity like laughing or exercising, you may notice leakage.rn
What Questions Should I Ask My Surgeon If I Am Considering Surgery To Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
Ask your surgeon about all SUI treatment options, including non-surgical options and surgical options that do and do not use mesh slings. It is important for you to understand why your surgeon may be recommending a particular treatment option to treat your SUI.
Any surgery for SUI may put you at risk for complications, including additional surgery. One complication that may occur when mesh slings are used is vaginal mesh erosion, which could require additional surgery to resolve.
If mesh erosion occurs through the vaginal tissue, it is possible that men may experience penile irritation and/or pain during sexual intercourse.
Ask your surgeon the following questions before you decide to have SUI surgery:
Medications For Stress Incontinence
Though millions of individuals suffer from SUI, there are no FDA-approved pharmaceutical medications to treat the condition. A couple of off-label medications that have shown to mitigate some symptoms of SUI are imipramine and pseudophedrine. Duloxetine is the only medication used to treat SUI, but it is not FDA-approved for this indication in the United States.
Topical Estrogen. Your doctor may prescribe local, low dosage estrogen administered vaginally to gently lubricate the tissues of the vagina. Many clinicians observe improvement in symptoms of SUI in many women. This should not be confused with Hormone Replacement Therapy , which has been not proven to relieve incontinence in postmenopausal women.
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How Is It Treated
Treatments are different for each person. They depend on the type of incontinence you have and how much it affects your life. After your doctor knows what has caused the incontinence, your treatment may include medicines, simple exercises, or both. A few men need surgery, but most do not.
There are also some things you can do at home. In many cases, these lifestyle changes can be enough to control incontinence.
- Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee and tea. Also cut back on fizzy drinks like soda pop. And dont drink more than one alcoholic drink a day.
- Eat foods high in fibre to help avoid constipation.
- Dont smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Try simple pelvic-floor exercises like Kegels.
- Go to the bathroom at several set times each day, and wear clothes that you can remove easily. Make your path to the bathroom as clear and quick as you can.
- When you urinate, practice double voiding. This means going as much as you can, relaxing for a moment, and then going again.
- Keep track of your symptoms and any leaking of urine with a bladder diary. This can help you and your doctor find the best treatment for you.
If you have symptoms of urinary incontinence, dont be embarrassed to tell your doctor. Most people with incontinence can be helped or cured.
Faqs: Stress Urinary Incontinence
Weve compiled some of the most common questions that women ask when learning about stress urinary incontinence. Read for yourself to learn more about stress urinary incontinence causes, symptoms and treatment options.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of voluntary control over your urinary functions. Approximately 18 million women in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence. That’s 1 in 4 women over the age of 18.3
Are there different types of urinary incontinence?
Yes. The most common types are stress, urge and mixed, which is a combination of the two. Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks during coughing, laughing or exercise because the urethra does not function properly. Urge incontinence involves the sudden sensation of the need to urinate that can be hard to put off the sudden urge to go. Mixed is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
What causes female stress urinary incontinence?
Female stress incontinence generally occurs when your pelvic muscles are not strong enough to keep the opening of the bladder neck closed when theres pressure on your bladder from laughing, coughing, lifting, exercising or other activities that cause abdominal pressure. It can slowly develop as you age and may be the result of a specific event such as childbirth, or be a result of smoking, obesity or other previous tissue traumas in the area.
Can stress urinary incontinence be successfully treated?
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Changing Your Fluid Consumption
The drinks you enjoy and the times you drink can make a difference to the severity of your stress urinary incontinence. This is something that may be worth considering and talking to a medical professional about.
Reducing carbonated, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks are all often thought to improve symptoms. Of course, there is no guarantee they will help but it is worth keeping an eye on when the incontinence is worse and if it correlates with what you are drinking.
Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Incontinence
The main symptom of incontinence is a leakage of urine. This could be a constant dripping of urine or an occasional experience of leakage. If you have incontinence, you might have large amounts or small amounts of leaked urine. You might experience leakage for a wide variety of reasons often depending on the type of incontinence you have.
You might leak urine when you:
- Have an urge to urinate, but cant make it to the toilet on time.
- Have to get up in the middle of night to urinate .
What Current Therapies Can Be Used By Women To Manage Their Sui
Conservative therapies for SUI include:
- Pelvic floor muscle training as well as:
- Biofeedback probe to assist in pelvic floor muscle training
- Pelvic floor electrical stimulation
- Weight loss and smoking cessation, including regulation of food and fluid intake such as caffeine-containing drinks
- Pessaries and/or devices such as intravaginal supporting tampons and intraurethral seals and shields.
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Okay Stress Incontinence Is Stressful How Can I Manage It Day
Yep, stress incontinence may have nothing to do with emotional stress but it sure can cause it.
Indeed, any kind of incontinence can cause a lot of anxiety for those who experience it. Fear of an accident can even make some people want to withdraw from company and social gatherings.;
While well cover treatment options further down, most will not have a very immediate effect. So, while you explore treatment options with your healthcare provider, you can also explore products to help you stay active and social. Leakproof underwear comes with different absorbency levels, that can hold up to 8 tsp of pee.;
Super absorbent Knix leakproof underwear can hold up to 8 tsp of liquid . Products like these can be a game changer for those experiencing female urinary incontinence, allowing them to remain active and social while exploring treatment options.;
Who Is Affected By Sui
Stress Urinary Incontinence is quite common, so its important to remember that youre not alone in managing this type of incontinence. According to the Urology Care Foundation, about 1 in 3 women suffer from SUI at some point in their life.;
The likelihood of living with Stress Urinary Incontinence often increases with age. Currently, about 50% of women aged 65 or older suffer from the occasional urinary leak.;
While men can also be affected by Stress Urinary Incontinence, it is usually more common for men to experience an overactive bladder . What is an overactive bladder you may ask? Well, an overactive bladder results in an uncontrollable urge to urinate which can sometimes lead to urine leakage. Men most affected by an SUI are oftentimes those who have had prostate cancer surgery, or pelvic nerve injury or damage.
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Causes Of Bowel Incontinence
The most common cause of bowel incontinence is damage to the muscles around the anus . Vaginal childbirth can damage the anal sphincters or their nerves. Thats why women are affected by accidental bowel leakage about twice as often as men.
Anal surgery can also damage the anal sphincters or nerves, leading to bowel incontinence.
Other potential causes of bowel incontinence include:
- Rectal prolapse, where your rectum drops down into your anus
- Rectocele, a condition in women where your rectum pushes through your vagina
- Loss of stretch of the rectum, which can happen with scarring and stiffening after surgery, radiation treatment, or inflammatory bowel disease
Itâs common to have more than one cause of bowel incontinence. Doctors sometimes are unable to determine the cause.
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How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.
When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.
Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.
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What Should I Do After My Surgery To Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
- Continue with annual check-ups and follow-up care, notifying your health care provider if complications develop, such as persistent vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic or groin pain, or pain during sexual intercourse. There is no need to take additional action if you are satisfied with your surgery and are not having complications or symptoms.
- If you have complications or other symptoms:
- Discuss complications and treatment options with your health care provider. Only your health care provider can give you personalized medical advice.
- Consider getting a second opinion from a surgeon who specializes in female pelvic reconstruction if you are not satisfied with your discussion with your health care provider.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Also known as Kegel exercises, these exercises can strengthen your urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can both improve stress incontinence, and prevent the condition from worsening. They can also help suppress the urge to urinate. In order to see tangible results, exercises must be done regularly and with the correct technique.;Sometimes, it might help to initiate the program with specialized trained physical therapist.
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Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of;or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination,;such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
Overflow incontinence is often caused by an obstruction or blockage in your bladder, which prevents it;from emptying fully.
Total incontinence may be caused by a problem with the bladder from birth, a spinal injury, or a small, tunnel like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area .
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
Find out more about the;causes of urinary incontinence.
Symptoms Of Stress Incontinence
Common in Women
Stress incontinence occurs when pelvic floor muscles weaken. The condition is the most common type of urinary incontinence in young women. Stress incontinence is the second most common type in older women. Activities like exercise, walking, stretching, bending, laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting place strain on weakened pelvic floor muscles, and that leads to leaks. Any activity that increases physical strain on pelvic floor muscles may lead to stress incontinenceeven sex. The amount that leaks varies. It may be a few drops or up to a tablespoon or more, depending on severity.
Some studies suggest 24% to 45% of women over the age of 30 suffer from stress incontinence. If you suffer from urinary incontinence, you are definitely not alone. Weakness in not just the pelvic floor muscles, but also in the urethral sphincter often plays a role in this type of urinary incontinence.
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What Are Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels. Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.
Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.
How Is Incontinence Treated
There are many different factors that your healthcare provider will consider when creating a treatment plan for your incontinence. The type of incontinence and the ways it affects your life are both big considerations. Your provider will also talk to you about the type of treatment you are most comfortable with. There are three main types of treatment you can explore for incontinence medications, lifestyle changes and surgery. Each option has pros and cons that your provider will discuss with you.
Medications to treat incontinence
There are quite a few medications that can reduce leakage. Some of these drugs stabilize the muscle contractions that cause problems with an overactive bladder. Other medications actually do the opposite thing relaxing muscles to allow your bladder to empty completely. Hormone replacement therapies can often involving replacing estrogen thats decreased during menopause may also help restore normal bladder function.
In many cases, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Your provider will carefully select a medication that matches your specific needs. Often, your provider will start you on a low dose of the medication and then increase it slowly. This is done to try and reduce your risks of side effects and to keep track of how well the medication is working to treat your incontinence.
Common medications that can be used to treat incontinence include:
Lifestyle changes to manage incontinence
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What Is Female Incontinence
Female incontinence describes the inability to hold in urine until youre ready to use the toilet. Incontinence causes leaks and sometimes full loss of control over your bladder.
Although there are different types of female incontinence, including overactive bladder and mixed incontinence, many women struggle with one type: stress incontinence.
When Should I See A Doctor About Incontinence
Its important to know that incontinence can be treated. Many people believe that its something that just goes along with aging and is an unavoidable issue. If you find that incontinence is disturbing your daily activities and causing you to miss out on things you typically enjoy, talk to your healthcare provider. There are a wide range of options to treat incontinence.
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Fluid Consumption & Bladder Training
Your healthcare professional may also recommend making changes to the fluids you consume, and when you consume them. Of course, its important to stay hydrated. But they may suggest cutting back on caffeinated, carbonated beverages and/or alcohol. If these simple changes have an effect, it will be a personal decision whether to make more permanent dietary changes.
In addition to curtailing certain beverages, your doctor may advise bladder training. This involves taking bathroom breaks at regularly timed intervals. By ensuring your bladder is emptied frequently, you minimize the chances of leakages. Over time, the time between breaks can be increased. This course of action might be especially effective for those with mixed incontinence.