Three Faces of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects millions of people throughout the world, and typically it affects women to a greater degree than men. There are a few different kinds of urinary incontinence, which occurs when urine is accidentally released by the bladder. The three main types of urinary incontinence include stress incontinence, urge incontinence and overflow incontinence.

Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is applied to the abdomen, and it occurs when a person lifts a heavy object, sneezes or even laughs. Exercising and working out can also trigger stress incontinence. With this type of incontinence, urine leaks from the bladder as a result of damaged or weakened muscles in the pelvic floor.

Stress incontinence is more commonly found in women than men, because it is a side effect of pregnancy and childbirth; however, it can also occur in men as a result of prostate surgery. Stress incontinence also occurs as people age, because the general condition of the pelvic floor muscles begins to deteriorate. Other contributing factors to incontinence are obesity, genetics, radiation just to name a few.

The second type of urinary incontinence is urge incontinence, and this condition is frequently referred to as an overactive bladder. It manifests itself as an urgent feeling of needing to go to the bathroom that seems to come out of nowhere. As the person rushes to a bathroom, urine leakage may occur.

An overactive bladder can be caused by nerve damage, muscle damage, disease and illness. When urge incontinence and stress incontinence exist simultaneously it is known as mixed urinary incontinence.

The third type of incontinence occurs when a person’s bladder does not empty completely when they go to the bathroom, and because of this partial emptying of the bladder they suffer from a constant dribble of urine. Known as overflow incontinence, this type of urinary incontinence typically affects older men.

Overflow incontinence is usually caused by a blockage of the urethra, which can be caused by an enlarged prostate or tumors. Another contributing factor can be a weak bladder muscle.

Urinary incontinence, regardless of they type, can often be an embarrassing topic to discuss with the doctor. Since there is often a cure or at least a treatment that can help to improve the condition, it is important to seek out medical help. If the topic is a difficult one to broach, keep the question or comment brief. Medical professionals are practiced in dealing with this condition, and the doctor will ask questions to help figure out the underlying condition that is contributing to the urinary incontinence problem.

Whether a person is dealing with stress, urge or overflow incontinence, seeking out help from a medical care professional is an important first step in successfully curing or managing the problem, and often the solution is as simple as making some simple behavioral modifications or doing some basic exercises. The more a person understands about urinary incontinence, the higher the rate of success they tend to have when dealing with its symptoms.

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Filed under: Urinary Incontinence

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