Urinary incontinence (UI) is the loss of urine control; you may not be able to hold your urine until you can reach a restroom. It may be a short-term problem caused by another health issue, or it may be a long-term problem that you'll have to manage. UI can range from a slight loss of urine to severe, frequent wetting. Fear of wetting yourself can keep you from enjoying activities with your family and friends; incontinence during sex can cause stress. UI is not a normal part of again, but it is common in older people. The following are some of the different types of UI:
Changed from certain diseases or medications may cause UI; it may also happen at the start of an illness. Women are most likely to have incontinence during pregnancy and childbirth; hormone changes of menopause may cause it as well because of weakened and stretched pelvic muscles. Some of the other common causes include:
The following are the most common symptoms of UI:
The symptoms of UI may look like other conditions or health problems; always consult your provider for a diagnosis.
The most important step in diagnosing UI is talking to a healthcare provider. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting help. It’s important to see a provider for a physical exam that focuses on the urinary and nervous systems, reproductive organs and includes testing urine samples. You may be referred to a urologist or urogynecologist, a healthcare provider who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract.
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
Treatment for UI depends on the cause and may include the following:
Behavioral therapies : These will help you regain bladder control and include:
Pelvic muscle rehab: This will improve pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage. Treatment includes:
You can also manage incontinence with other devices and products which include catheters, pelvic organ slings, urethral plugs, urine collection systems, and penile compression devices. Talk to your provider about which treatment would work best for you.