According to womenshealth.gov, roughly 15 million adult females in the United States alone live with urinary incontinence. However, this condition can affect men as well.
If you experience leakage and want to do something about it, then you should schedule an appointment with an OBGYN. The doctor can make a diagnosis and then recommend the right treatment.
Learn the causes of urinary incontinence
There are seven distinct types of urinary incontinence, each with different symptoms and causes.
1. Stress incontinence
For this type, the “stress” factor has nothing to do with anxiety. Instead, there is pressure on the bladder. The most common causes include someone being overweight or obese, pregnant and from several other medical conditions as well. However, stress urinary incontinence is also the result of lifting heavy objects, exercise and even sneezing.
2. Overflow incontinence
Rather than deal with leakage, this type of urinary incontinence makes it hard for people to empty their bladders. This can be due to weak muscles, a blockage of the bladder outlet or even a side effect of certain medications. While it can affect women, it is more common in men.
3. Functional incontinence
Functional urinary incontinence is a type that often affects the aging population. Most people have some kind of physical or mental illness, including arthritis and Alzheimer’s, which makes it difficult to urinate on their own terms. In simple terms, individuals with this form of incontinence struggle to make it to the bathroom in time.
4. Urge incontinence
Also called an overactive bladder, urge urinary incontinence makes people feel as though they need to use the bathroom frequently. In fact, the urge is so intense that most cannot get to a toilet before leakage occurs. In most cases, the cause has to do with an injury to the muscles or nerves responsible for controlling the flow of urine. There are also a few medical conditions that can lead to this type.
5. Total incontinence
For total urinary incontinence, the most severe type, a person loses complete control over bladder function. As a result, they live with constant leakage.
6. Mixed incontinence
This type of urinary incontinence is a combination of the stress type and an overactive bladder. Men can develop this, but it is more commonly seen in women.
Learning that bedwetting is actually a form of urinary incontinence surprises many people. For children five years of age and younger, this is the result of an immature bladder. In other words, the bladder has not yet matured enough to prevent accidents.
In some instances, an emotional factor comes into play with bedwetting. For instance, abused and neglected children can struggle with this particular type.
Talk to your doctor
For females who experience bladder problems, it is important for them to speak with an OBGYN. For males, they should start by talking to their primary family physician. The good news is that for all types of urinary incontinence, there are viable treatments available. As part of the diagnosis, the doctor would determine if the patient has any underlying condition that might also require treatment.
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