Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control. It causes social and hygienic problem. The bladder control suffers due to too weak or too active bladder muscles.
It affects both genders, although is more frequent in women.
The symptoms of urinary incontinence may differ depending on the type of the condition. Generally, two of the types are most common.
- Stress incontinence, in 90% of cases; when there is abdominal pressure during coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, straining
- Urge incontinence – urge for urination, although there may be little urine
- Mixed incontinence – combination of the above
- Overflow incontinence – inability to empty the bladder with overflow of urine
- Continuous incontinence – constant leakage due to inherited abnormality or sphincter injury
- Post-micturition dribble – leaking after urination
- Functional incontinence – inability to use the toilet due to poor immobility
- Giggle incontinence – occurs in young girls and resolves as the child grows
There are several causes of urinary incontinence:
- drinks, foods or medications that act as diuretics
- medical condition, such as urinary tract infection or constipation
- age, when bladder muscles may weaken
- prostate, either enlarged or cancer
- neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain tumour, multiple sclerosis
The risk factor for urinary incontinence are:
- other diseases
Complications of urinary incontinence are mainly affecting the personal/social life. Other complications that can arise are associated with possible urinary tract infections and skin problems, developing from constantly wet skin.
Prevention of urinary incontinence is not always possible. However, certain measures can be taken, such as healthy weight maintenance, healthy food (rich in fiber), and bladder exercises.