Your Top 5 Questions about Urinary Incontinence, Answered

By on March 1, 2019
Urinary Incontinence

There’s not much good to say about urinary incontinence, but it’s worth talking about. It’s quite unfortunate that people don’t want to talk about UI, because if they started the conversation, especially with their doctor, they might find comfort in knowing they’re not alone, dispel common myths, and learn about life-changing treatments.

To scratch the surface, let’s look at some of the most common questions about UI.

1. Do women experience UI more than Men?

Yes. More women experience UI, and by a lot. It’s estimated that three-fourths of those living with UI are women.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, approximately 25% of young women, 44–57% of middle-aged and postmenopausal women, and 75% of older women experience some involuntary urine loss. 

2. What are the risks of UI?

The obvious problem with UI is not being able to control your bladder. However, there are other risks associated with UI that are very serious. Loss of sleep, from having to go to the restroom several times at night, is a problem. Social isolation, loss of dignity, and embarrassment are other problems. And the increased risk of falls is another issue that most people don’t think about.

UI isn’t just about losing control of your bladder; it can have severe social, mental, and physical consequences if not treated.

3. What causes UI?

There are many causes for urinary incontinence but for women, the leading cause of is childbirth. Complicating matters is that UI can be caused by anything that puts pressure or strain the pelvic floor  such as laughing, coughing, jogging, horseback riding, etc.

Other underlying physical problems, such as the ones listed below can cause UI.

  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes and the increased weight of a fetus can lead to stress incontinence.
  • Childbirth – Vaginal delivery can weaken muscles needed for bladder control and also damage bladder nerves and supportive tissue, leading to a dropped (prolapsed) pelvic floor. With prolapse, the bladder, uterus, rectum or small intestine can get pushed down from the usual position and protrude into the vagina. Such protrusions can be associated with incontinence.
  • Changes with age – Aging of the bladder muscle can decrease the bladder’s capacity to store urine.
  • Menopause – After menopause women produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. Deterioration of these tissues can aggravate incontinence.
  • Hysterectomy – In women, the bladder and uterus are supported by many of the same muscles and ligaments. Any surgery that involves a woman’s reproductive system, including removal of the uterus, may damage the supporting pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence.
  • Obstruction – A tumor anywhere along your urinary tract can block the normal flow of urine, leading to overflow incontinence. Urinary stones — hard, stone-like masses that form in the bladder — sometimes cause urine leakage.
  • Neurological disorders – Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, a brain tumor or a spinal injury can interfere with nerve signals involved in bladder control, causing urinary incontinence.

4. Can UI be cured?

This one is tricky. UI can’t be cured, but it can be significantly improved with the right treatment.

Treatment should be emphasized. There is a big difference between managing symptoms and treating the underlying causes.

In many cases, women don’t know that there are better options than wearing pads or diapers. This is one of the least beneficial methods of managing UI. It does nothing to improve the situation and can cause skin irritation and odor.

So, if you are told there is no “cure” for UI, know that you don’t have to settle for simply managing symptoms, you can treat and reduce them. 

5. Do you have to take medication or have surgery to curb UI?

Many prefer to avoid surgery, and the side effects of UI medications. Fortunately, new therapies make it possible to regain control without going under the knife or taking a pill.

Talk to your doctor about Consortia’s Propelvic Solution. This is a type of therapy that reeducates and strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor. There are also other minimally invasive therapies that do the same by stimulating the nerves.

The important thing is to start talking about it. If you can start the conversation, you can be on your way to a much more active and carefree life.

For more information, please visit us or to learn more by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram 

About Consortia Health

Consortia Health Holdings, Inc., is a medical company providing an integrated delivery model working with physicians to provide diagnosis, treatment, and educational support to address pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual health. Consortia Health is a leading provider of these services in the US, treating men and women with pelvic disorders of all kinds, and is a trusted partner transforming young patient lives in doctors’ offices and elderly patients in senior care facilities. For more on how Consortia Health is making a difference, please visit the Company’s website

 

About Living Better

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Top 5 Questions about Urinary Incontinence, Answered