Urinary Incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder has poor control, causing urine to leak out of the bladder involuntarily.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are several types of incontinence that could be caused by different reasons.

1. Overactive Bladder
In a normal system, when the bladder is half full and ready to be emptied, the bladder muscles contract and the sphincter relaxes to release the urine. Weakened muscles and nerves in the bladder can disrupt this order and lead to incontinence which usually presents with involuntary loss of urine. For some, the leakage may soak through the underwear or even outer clothing. This uncomfortable situation might be caused by triggers like hearing running water and having the sudden urge to pass urine but not being able to rush to the washroom in time.Unknown to many people, there are various treatment options available to relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder. If you are experiencing such symptoms, schedule an appointment with A/Prof to manage the condition and improve your quality of life.

2. Stress Urinary Incontinence
This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles or urethral sphincter are compromised and are unable to support and control the bladder. Whenever there is stress or pressure exerted on the bladder, the result is leakage of urine. Triggers include laughing, sneezing, coughing and even exercising. This condition is usually due to pregnancy and childbirth where the pelvic floor tends to weaken. Loss of pelvic muscle tone from ageing and menopause could also cause stress urinary incontinence.Like with an overactive bladder, there are many treatment options and lifestyle modifications one can adopt to improve the condition. Depending on the severity of the urinary incontinence, there are non-invasive treatment options, medical treatment with creams, as well as surgical treatment.

3. Mixed incontinence
Someone with an overactive bladder coupled with stress urinary incontinence would have what is termed mixed incontinence. Like in both cases, urine leakage is the most common and direct symptom, especially when you feel an urge to urinate or after drinking only a small amount of water. In some cases, it can also happen while the person is sleeping.The treatment for mixed incontinence usually targets the more serious condition.

What should you do if you experience symptoms of Urinary Incontinence?

If you are experiencing symptoms like difficulty controlling your bladder and involuntary urine leakage, seek help as soon as possible to treat the condition when it is still in the early stages.