While bladder leakage or urinary incontinence (UI) can happen to women at any age, it is more common in the older demographic. Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are the reasons why women are more prone to having urinary incontinence. Men can also have UI, but women experience this condition twice as often.
Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing, which is why some people who have it don’t discuss it with their doctors. There is no need to be embarrassed, though. Learning more about UI can help, especially if it negatively affects your day-to-day activities. Here are the things you need to know about urinary incontinence.
1. There are different types of urinary incontinence.
The severity of this condition ranges from occasional urine leakage (when you cough or sneeze) to having a strong and sudden urge to urinate that you don’t make it in time.
- Stress incontinence – If you experience urine leakage when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, you have this type of incontinence. The same is also true for activities that increase abdominal pressure like bending and lifting heavy objects.
- Urge incontinence – This refers to having a sudden and strong urge to urinate and is accompanied by involuntary urine leaks. It may also make you feel like you need to urinate constantly. Urge incontinence may also be due to certain conditions or neurological disorders.
- Mixed incontinence – This a combination of stress and urge incontinence. Women who have this incontinence experience both the symptoms of the two mentioned types of incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence – This refers to the inability to empty the bladder due to chronic urinary retention. With this type of incontinence, there is an involuntary release of urine when your bladder becomes full although you don’t feel any urge to urinate. Overflow incontinence is much more common in men than women.
- Functional incontinence – This happens when disabilities or illnesses prevent you from getting into the bathroom in time. Functional incontinence is common among the elderly and those with certain conditions like arthritis and Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
2. It is not a normal part of aging.
Although many older women report having or experiencing UI, it is not a common part of aging. Urinary incontinence is also not something you have to live with after childbirth or during menopause. There are ways to treat the condition, as well as techniques to train your bladder to regain more control over it.
Urinary incontinence, furthermore, is not a disease by itself, but a symptom. It can also be caused or triggered by a number of factors such as your daily habits or lifestyle, physical problems, certain life events, and underlying medical conditions. Some of the common causes include:
- Pregnancy (childbirth) and menopause
- Certain foods and drinks, especially alcohol, caffeine, and foods high in acid, sugar, and spice
- Urinary tract infection (this irritates the bladder)
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
- Neurological disorders (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s diseases)
3. There are treatment options available.
Majority cases of UI can be improved or cured. The right treatment can also depend on the type of incontinence you have. Be sure to talk or consult your healthcare provider to learn more about your treatment options. Below are a few strategies that can help:
Bladder training – The aim of this training is to regain control over your bladder. Techniques for bladder training include:
- Scheduled toilet trips – This means having a set bathroom time, whether or not you feel the need to urinate. You can, for instance, start going every two hours and then gradually increasing until you find a schedule the works for you
- Delayed urination – This refers to holding in the urge to urinate. You can start by holding it in for 5 minutes when you feel the urge to do so and then gradually increase the amount of time each week. You can continue to increase the time until you are able to experience fewer feelings of urgency.
Kegels – These are done to strengthen the weakened pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises can help improve urinary stress incontinence, as well as in making your female area feel firmer. If you’re having difficulties in doing Kegels, ask your health care provider for suggestions or feedback, especially in identifying the right muscles.
Ultra Femme 360 – This is an FDA-cleared nonsurgical procedure for vaginal rejuvenation. Clinical studies suggest that Ultra Femme 360 has shown positive results for treating stress urinary incontinence. The procedure can also improve vaginal laxity, boost sexual satisfaction, and improve the overall appearance of the intimate area.
The results of Ultra Femme 360 vary from patient to patient. They will also depend on factors like the amount of tissue laxity and your body’s response to the procedure. Be sure to learn more about the procedure or consult an aesthetic doctor to determine the treatment plan that suits your needs.
Medications and surgery – Certain medications are prescribed in combination with other techniques or exercises. Surgeries like sling procedure, Colposuspension, or artificial sphincter may also be an option if other treatment solutions don’t work. Talk to your health care provider to discuss your options.
If you’re considering a non-invasive treatment like, Ultra Femme 360, don’t hesitate to contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics today. Schedule a consultation with our Harvard-trained aesthetic doctor, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez, to learn more about the procedure or to find out if you’re a good candidate for it.