If you suffer from urinary incontinence, then you’re no stranger to the frustrating problem of unexpected urine leakage during simple activities such as laughing, coughing, or performing simple household chores. Women are more at risk of developing this condition, which can be caused by pelvic muscle problems, pregnancy, and childbirth, as well as infections. At Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA, we perform gynecological procedures, including treatment for urinary incontinence, so that you can return to your ideal lifestyle.
The Primary Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Many reasons can cause women to suffer from incontinence. Often, these reasons are unavoidable and require medical attention. Childbearing trauma and advancing age are some of the primary reasons that lead to urinary incontinence for women.
Acute health problems may cause incontinence. Typically, these problems go away for one course of treatment and do not require any maintenance medication. Do you think you may be experiencing urine leaking complications due to a recurrent illness? If so, you will need to sustain treatment for a prolonged period. Chronic problems typically don’t go away except with continuous treatment or prevention.
Urinary Tract Infections
One of the primary causes of incontinence is the presence of a urinary tract infection. Such infections can cause discomfort when peeing and an overwhelming urge to run to the nearest toilet frequently. Fortunately, when the infection has been successfully treated, the desire to urinate usually stops. You can avoid infections by practicing good hygiene and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
For women, pregnancy and childbirth are the most likely causes of incontinence. During pregnancy, the uterus exerts additional pressure on the bladder as it expands through birth. For this reason, many women who experience incontinence during their pregnancies usually find that the symptoms go away within weeks after childbirth.
Nearly half of women develop urinary incontinence throughout pregnancy, but not all of them have symptoms that vanish after birth. Usually, additional treatments or therapy is necessary to reverse the condition. This unique phase in a woman’s life can change her body in many ways, including affecting the bladder, urethra, and other muscles protecting these organs.
How Does Pregnancy Cause Incontinence?
A woman’s body undergoes a lot of physical adjustment during pregnancy and childbirth. When the uterus expands and grows to carry a baby, many changes occur. First, a woman’s bladder can be “squished” by a growing baby, causing the bladder to hold fewer amounts of urine than before. This condition could become even more difficult at the end of the third trimester when the baby is the biggest.
Pelvic floor muscles are likely to weaken during birth, causing incontinence. These muscles sustain all of the pelvic organ systems. Overexertion and trauma during pregnancy and childbirth are the likely causes of pelvic floor issues.
Incontinence may also be triggered by some forms of medication, such as diuretics and antidepressants. Do you suspect that your current medication causes your frequent urge to urinate? It’s possible to discuss other options with your healthcare provider. You may opt for different treatments and dosages that will not cause you to urinate frequently or experience unwanted leakage.
Did you know that certain drinks, such as caffeine and alcohol, can make you urinate even more often? When you avoid drinking these liquids, the urge to urinate frequently disappears. The best way to reverse incontinence caused by this condition is to be more mindful of what you drink and avoid excessive amounts of non-water beverages.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
Do you have a problem with your pelvic floor muscles? Without addressing the problem, it can change the way your kidneys, including your bladder, operate. One way to relieve yourself from incontinence caused by pelvic floor issues is to exercise. By strengthening your pelvic muscles with the help of specific movements, you can alleviate the symptoms of incontinence and reduce leakage.
A stroke can lead to muscle function problems. The pelvic floor muscles and urinary muscles are also vulnerable to problems caused by the stroke. Suffering from a stroke can lead to incontinence once the condition has affected your urinary system. Physical therapy may be useful when it comes to treating incontinence brought about by stroke.
Did you know that your body produces larger amounts of urine when you have diabetes? It’s your body’s way of trying to restore balance in your systems. Unfortunately, the increase in urine production may also cause leakage problems. By seeking treatment for diabetes, you may also relieve yourself from incontinence or the frequent urge to urinate.
Menopause is another period of transition in a woman’s body. During menopause, estrogen levels shift to alter the functioning of the reproductive system. As a result, pelvic floor muscles can become less effective and unable to prevent urine leakage. This condition is most common among older women and seniors.
The Different Types of Urinary Incontinence
If urine spills as you jump, cough, or laugh, you may be suffering from stress incontinence. Physical activities can trigger abdominal pressure and ultimately cause unwanted urine leakage. While the experience can be annoying or frustrating, this type of incontinence does not have anything to do with the emotional experience.
Most of the time, just a small volume of urine spills out during an incident. However, in more extreme cases, an intense pressure exerted on a full bladder can completely overwhelm its capacity to hold urine. Unwanted leakages may occur even when the bladder muscles do not contract, and you do not feel any urge to urinate.
How Does Stress Incontinence Occur?
Stress incontinence is made possible when the urethra, pelvic floor muscles, and other related organs and tissues have been compromised or impaired. They become unreliable when it comes to holding urine. Women who deliver vaginally are more likely to experience stress incontinence. The birthing process can cause weakened pelvic muscles and nerves. This consequence is true for most women who give birth to bigger babies and experience long labors.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Age is often a risk factor for incontinence. As a woman ages, her pelvic floor and urethra muscles begin to relax or weaken. Most women experience symptoms only after menopause.
Do you feel a persistent need to urinate even though your bladder is not full? Your incontinence could be due to an overactive bladder. This disorder frequently happens in both men and women. It is characterized by an intense desire to urinate quickly, often followed by a lack of urine after entering the toilet.
This form of incontinence can be annoying and frustrating. Even though “accidents” do not really happen, the frequent urge to urinate can cause conflicts with work and social life.
What Causes Urge Incontinence?
An overactive bladder can be triggered by physical conditions that prevent the body from inhibiting the bladder muscle’s excessive contractions. These complications include nervous system disruption due to injuries or neurological disorders. Irritants within the bladder, such as those released during infection, can also cause the bladder muscles to contract unnecessarily.
There is no identifiable reason for an overactive bladder, but many people experience the condition more likely as they age. Postmenopausal women are likely to experience this disorder, mostly due to changes in bladder muscles brought about by aging.
Does your bladder fail to completely empty? It’s not uncommon to suffer from urine leakage without feeling the urge to rush to the toilet. This condition can happen in women when the bladder has become under-active, as they no longer experience the urgent need to urinate.
Eventually, the bladder becomes overfilled, forcing the urethra to open and spill urine. The bladder can also spasm spontaneously, causing leakage. This disorder is often attributed to diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
What Causes Overflow Incontinence?
If a woman suffers from severe uterine or bladder prolapse, her urethra may become misshapen, interfering with urinary functions. Nerve trauma caused by childbirth or prior surgical procedures can also inhibit regular contractions of the bladder muscle.
Reflex incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles contract and result in urine leakage. This condition can occur without warning or feelings of urgency. Incontinence reflex can be caused by nerve damage, which falsely alerts the brain that the bladder is full. Some people can suffer from the condition due to trauma or undergoing radiation therapy.
Do you experience the signs of both overactive bladder and stress incontinence? Then it’s likely that you are suffering from mixed incontinence. Women are likely to suffer from this challenging situation, which can interfere with the quality of their daily lives.
Can Incontinence Be Treated Successfully?
Fortunately, there are different approaches that can be used to manage women’s incontinence. Medicines may be used to minimize bladder sensitivity or decrease the amount of body urine. However, these medications are usually given out for special occasions only because they may have side effects.
Surgery may be recommended to relieve urinary incontinence in extreme situations. In other cases, injections into the sphincter may be used to reinforce or relax it. Physical therapy and medical appliances can be used, as well. The most common treatment approaches include:
Physical therapy is considered to be an effective and non-invasive treatment for incontinence. It often involves methods such as pelvic muscle strengthening, bladder retraining, and neurofeedback. In most women, these approaches can decrease or reduce both stress and urinary incontinence.
The neurotoxin that cosmetic surgeons have used for a long time may also be used to manage incontinence. Botox helps to relax the bladder and reduces the over-responsiveness of individual nerve fibers, helping the bladder to contract more naturally.
This form of treatment involves a thin needle, which is implanted near the ankle. The device sends impulses to the pelvic nerves that manipulate the activity of the bladder. This treatment is similar to acupuncture therapy.
This therapy involves implanting a device that directly sends electric pulses to the nerve root that enhances bladder control. This treatment is often prescribed among those with urge incontinence.
Some medical devices may help relieve urinary incontinence without risking complications from surgery. It includes a silicone ring implanted in the vagina, which looks like a diaphragm. The pessary helps to avoid leakage of the urethra.e. Still, regular checks and supervision are needed to prevent possible abrasion problems.
Consult a Specialist for Your Treatment Today
Do you suffer from incontinence? You need to know that it can be treated for the long term. Some people believe that this medical condition is a natural part of life or an unavoidable issue, especially for women. If you find that incontinence prevents you from enjoying a normal routine, contact Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA, today. We can provide you with a wide range of solutions to address your health concerns.