Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine. In other words, it is a condition when a person does not have control over urination. In most cases, persons with this illness will sense the urge to pass urine too many times or will urinate unknowingly. This is a very common disease among people, especially the aging population. Women have a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence than men. Outlined below are the causes of this disease and ways to treat it. 

Causes

Neurological Diseases
Anything that interferes with nerve signals which are responsible for controlling urination can cause incontinence. Persons with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, strokes, brain tumours and spinal injuries will most likely suffer from stress or urge urinary incontinence. This occurs when the urethra is unable to stay closed due to a sudden shock or pressure caused by fits, sneezing or coughing. Neurological disease can also provoke the frequent urge to pass urine. 

Pregnancy
Childbirth is one of the main causes of bladder prolapse in women. Vaginal walls weaken or loosens due to bodily stress triggered during child birth. This can lead to the deterioration of vaginal walls which in turn causes the bladder to descend to the vagina as it has no support. Discomfort, leakage and difficulties in urinating are a result of this condition. 

 

Menopause
The production of oestrogen is reduced when women reach menopause. Oestrogen is responsible for maintaining the strength and health of vaginal walls. Menopausal women often experience incontinence due to lack of oestrogen that deteriorates the vaginal muscle. Medical procedures such as uterus cleaning or removal of the uterus after menopause can also cause incontinence. 

Treatments

Non-Surgical
The treatment of urinary incontinence usually depends on its type. Stress, urge and overflow incontinence are usually treated in different ways. Non-surgical treatments such as pelvic floor exercises in pregnancy, bladder training and lifestyle changes are recommended for patients with all types of incontinence. Lifestyle changes include reducing the intake of caffeine and alcohol, drinking measured quantities of liquid and losing weight. Menopausal women with incontinence are often given oestrogen replacement therapy which is administered orally. 

Surgical
When conventional treatments are unsuccessful, some patients have to undergo surgery or other procedures. Before surgery, it is important to consider factors like childbirth and other medical complications experienced. Tape procedures, Colposuspension, sling procedures, fitting an artificial urinary sphincter and sacral nerve stimulation are some types of incontinence surgery. Being educated on the types of incontinence, what causes it and how to treat it can help both men and women prevent or overcome this illness effectively. 

 

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