What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is an involuntary urination due to loss of bladder control. A person may feel embarrassed for not being able to control his own body. Good thing, there are available therapies known to manage or maybe, regain continence. This physical condition can affect both men and women of all ages. Aside from the leakage, there are other symptoms that may be present: Urgency is the strong urge of a person to take a pee even if the urinary bladder isn’t full yet which can be accompanied by discomfort in the pelvic area. Another is frequent urination, about 6-8 times daily even with normal liquid intake. Waking up in the middle of the night for 2 or 3 times to urinate is called nocturia.

Factors like infection in the bladder, being obese, giving birth, weakened muscles of the pelvic floor, chronic illness, medications, abnormalities in the urinary tract, neuromuscular problems, negative stress, smoking, caffeine, hormonal imbalance due to menopause may all contribute to urinary incontinence. For instance, childbirth requires change in the body of a woman. Over time, this can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken, which leads to loss of bladder control. The urinary bladder’s function is to house urine before it gets excreted by the body.

It signals the brain when it’s already full; telling us to urinate. The sphincter, together with the pelvic floor muscles, has to be strong to hold the urine. The sphincter keeps the urethra close until we are ready to go. To urinate, the sphincter relaxes, and then the bladder muscle contacts to squeeze the urine out of the bladder, passing through a tube called urethra.

To help a person regain continence, he or she needs to discuss the problem with a health provider. Initially, there will be a screening about the health history. The patient needs to tell the physician if there has been a history of incontinence in the family. Then, a thorough examination by the physician will follow. This includes pelvis exam and urinalysis. The urine in the bladder after urinating will then be measured. After thorough analysis, an individualized treatment will be design for the patient. To treat urinary incontinence education about the urinary bladder and Kegel muscles. Retraining of the bladder through scheduling can also be practiced. Another effective method is to give muscles the pelvic floor some workout. Medication can be prescribed for infection.

Replacing hormones, stopping abnormal contractions, or tightening of the sphincter muscles can also be done. Because obesity is also attributed to incontinence, dietary modification can also be discussed with a health provider. Moreover, surgical procedure may also be advised to correct the position of the bladder.

A specific exercise, called the Kegel exercises, helps in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. First, the right muscle needs to be identified. You can do it by trying to stop urinating after partially emptying the bladder. If you were able to stop the flow of urine, which means you contracted the right muscle. To do the exercise, contact the muscle and hold it for 3 seconds in 10-15 repetition. Mothers usually learn Kegel exercises during their childbirth lessons, but the best time to start practicing it is during the adolescent stage, just when a girl has begun her menstruation.

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