Evaluation & Treatment of Urinary Incontinence
Female urinary incontinence (UI) is a condition with severe economic and psychosocial impact.
What is Urinary Incontinence:
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine from the bladder which causes a social or hygienic problem. Millions of women suffer in silence from urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. Most do not seek help due to embarrassment or the false belief that it is a normal part of aging. Urinary incontinence can happen at any age and be caused by a variety of conditions. Many causes, such as infection or irritation caused by medication, are temporary and can be managed with simple treatment. Even causes that are not temporary, such as weakness of pelvic muscles, can be treated effectively.
There are several different types of incontinence:
• Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine with laugh, cough or sneeze; the amount of urine loss is small and usually occurs in spurts.
• Urge incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine associated with a strong desire to urinate; the need to void frequently or after bedtime is common.
• Overactive bladder involves urinary urgency and frequency (greater than 8x/day) with or without incontinence.
• Mixed incontinence is a combination of both urge and stress incontinence.
Who Can Benefit from Treatment?
A broad range of conditions and disorders can cause bladder control problems. Some groups and their conditions include:
— New Mothers
The stress of childbirth often weakens the muscles that regulate urine flow. As a result, many new mothers experience urine loss.
— Active Lifestyles
Unfortunately, sometimes the pursuit of fitness can worsen the symptoms of incontinence. The force associated with activities like walking up stairs, jogging or aerobics can lead to urinary leakage.
— Older Women
Contrary to popular belief, incontinence is not a normal part of aging. However, many women in mid to late life do suffer from incontinence and/or over-active bladder due to changes associated with menopause, surgery, or general muscle weakening.