Stress incontinence occurs women twice as much as men and research shows its prevalence increases with age. But, that is an oversimplification of an issue closely associated with life experiences. Multiple normal vaginal deliveries appear to increase a woman’s chance of experiencing leaks and female urinary incontinence appears among female collegiate athletes – particularly among woman who choose sports where they experience repetitive impacts – be they ever so small, like running and horseback riding. So, lifestyle choice and lifetime experiences accumulate over time, but it is not necessarily age or size that will portend leaks. Interestingly, it dose suggest tat even if you don’t suffer from it now, there is a possibility you will in the future. At the very least someone in your family may suffer from it.
The embarrassment of incontinence of any kind doesn’t bear thinking about. Don’t let this condition ruin your life. In this article, you will learn about what is stress incontinence.
More than that, you will come to understand the causes and possible treatments. There are many things that can cause us distress in life and this is one of them. However, if you read this article, you’re taking the first step in controlling your symptoms.
When you take in fluids, your body does some amazing things. First, it has its own filtering system, your kidneys. From your kidneys, urine waste product is taken to a storage tank, your bladder.
When the storage is at full capacity your bladder sends a message to your brain to say ‘now is the time to GO’. When you get to the bathroom your brain tells your body you can now relax and release. The urine travels down the urethra tube where finally the muscles release and open the lid as it were.
Quite amazing when it all works smoothly. Passing urine is a normal function for any human. The important point here is that everybody’s bladder isn’t the same, and therefore the frequency with one must pass urine will also vary.
Urge and Stress Incontinence – Same Difference?
Passing urine is a normal function for everyone. However, the frequency in which you must go can differ from one person to the next. That could be dependent on the size of your bladder or the amount of fluids you have taken in that day.
So what is incontinence? It is when you lose bladder control or when you leak urine. There are two types, Stress Incontinence and Urge Incontinence and there is a difference!
This is the more common of the two and it doesn’t mean it is caused by emotional stress. It has this name because it refers to abnormal pressure or stress on the bladder. When the muscles of the pelvic floor weaken, the viceral organs shift. The change in the position of the organs puts pressure on the bladder. It’s the added weight with movement that makes you leak urine – the pressure that overwhelms the muscles that keep you from leaking.
Stress continence is also known as SUI. Women of all ages can be sufferers of stress incontinence. It can cause the sufferer to avoid sports or other physical activities like dancing or intimacy (e.g., sudden movement!).
Less common if you compare the two and yet just as annoying for the person dealing with it. If you think about how an itch gives you that urge that you must scratch it for it to go away, then that’s what it’s like for your bladder.
The person has a strong urge to go to the toilet and urinate frequently. The urge comes on suddenly and can be very inconvenient. This type of incontinence can cause fear of going out and not being able to make a bathroom in time.
Battle of the Sexes
If you thought this was only a problem for females you would be wrong. Stress incontinence does indeed affect some men. However, the causes of stress incontinence in men are quite different from those of women. Men that suffer from stress incontinence are usually suffering from an existing illness.
Cause and Effect
For women, FUI’s most common cause is a weak pelvic floor. These muscles are the framework for holding the bowels, uterus, and bladder all in the right place. When those pelvic muscles aren’t doing their job properly, they make other parts of your body have to work harder.
Under added pressure, the bladder and urethra can only hold tight so long. A sneeze, laugh, or movement can cause an unwanted leakage. Women often suffer from a weakened pelvic floor after childbirth or at menopause.
Prostate problems are the most likely factor to cause men to develop this type of incontinence. Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and any other illness that affects the nervous system could cause stress incontinence.
Both men and women suffering from stress incontinence talk about dealing with not just physical discomfort but emotional effects. They can experience a range of feelings from shame and embarrassment to anxiety.
Treatment for Stress Incontinence
Before you can get help, you need to be correctly diagnosed. This is the quickest way to start feeling better. The diagnosis will determine which treatment will be the most successful for you.
Strengthen the Pelvic Floor
There are no short cuts to this treatment. This will take time with or without the help of an electric pelvic floor trainer. Consistent effort to strengthen those muscles will make huge improvements to your condition.
Your doctor may have some suggested adjustments for your lifestyle. Your doctor might advise you to stop smoking or reduce your weight. They may suggest you limit your consumption of coffee, alcohol, and soda which all effect urination frequency.
There are a number of things that can be done to help with SUI. A common solution is a device that is inserted in the vagina. Its purpose is to create support for weak pelvic muscles, decreasing the amount of stress on the bladder and urethra.
Behavioral and bladder training are very effective non-surgical treatments. It is a method that helps you retrain the bladder and you. How you cope with the messages your bladder is sending your brain, can increase or decrease how effective your treatment is.
Your doctor may decide that a surgical solution is needed. Take time to research what exactly those options are first and be well-informed about possible complications.
Collagen is another option. Collagen is injected to bulk out body tissue, creating less space for urine to leak. Doctors may use other types of bulking agents.
Time to Take Control
Don’t let stress incontinence control you and your life. If you or a family member is battling with this right now then this article will help you see that you can be positive about your future. You’re not on your own.
Many suffers have found successful ways to treat their stress incontinence and go on living a full life. Keep educating yourself, you can find more help here.