What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is more common than you might think. Between 20 to 30 percent of young women, 30 to 40 percent of middle-aged women and up to 50 percent of older women suffer from bladder control issues. These issues can range from a small leakage after coughing, sneezing or laughing to a large leakage brought on by a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate.

Many women believe urinary incontinence is an unavoidable consequence of childbirth, menopause and advancing age—but it’s not. Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that can be diagnosed and effectively treated in most cases.

Types of urinary incontinence

Struggling with bladder control issues can be life-changing, embarrassing and cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. The first step toward a more normal, less restricted life is to understand what type of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing. Here are the four types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence
    Lifting, exercising, coughing, sneezing and laughing can all cause excess or sudden pressure on the bladder and cause urine to leak unexpectedly.
  • Urge incontinence
    Urge incontinence is characterized by a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by involuntary loss of urine. Women with urge incontinence often feel the need to urinate frequently, including throughout the night.
  • Overflow incontinence
    Frequent, constant dribbling of urine is a symptom of overflow incontinence and occurs when the bladder is unable to completely empty.
  • Mixed incontinence
    Any combination of stress, urge or overflow incontinence is considered mixed incontinence.

Effective ways to relieve urinary incontinence

For many women, making a few easy lifestyle changes can control incontinence issues, including:

  • Reduce intake of caffeinated and fizzy drinks
  • Limit alcohol to one drink per day
  • Eat a high-fiber diet
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Practice bladder training: double voiding and scheduled voiding
  • Perform pelvic-floor exercises regularly (such as Kegel)

However, some women may need medical assistance to get the relief they need. The experienced gynecologists at Adriatica Women’s Health offer a complete range of treatments, including:

  • Medical management (medications)
  • Pessaries
  • Sling procedures
  • Bladder-neck suspension surgery
  • Prolapse surgery/pelvic floor repair

The board-certified physicians at Adriatica Women’s Health are committed to providing expert care and urinary incontinence treatment in McKinney and Prosper, Texas. Call 972-542-8884 to learn how we can help you break free from worry associated with urinary incontinence.

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