Urinary incontinence also called micturition is urination happening involuntarily and that sure does affect someone’s personal hygiene and social life.
The urinary bladder is capable of holding the urine without any problems, until there is a social place to void. There are 2 valves which help in continence namely involuntary smooth muscle – internal sphincter muscle and that which opens when bladder is half –full and the external sphincter skeletal muscle that which is voluntary and helped by the Kegel’s exercises – pelvic floor hygiene.
Urge incontinence is the sudden urge to urinate leading to involuntary urination from overactive bladder. Frequent urination happens because of the uninhibited detrusor muscle contractions. Treatment focuses on relaxation techniques, bladder drills and anti-muscarinic drugs. A Botox injection into the urinary bladder calms the bladder in worst-case scenario. Stress urinary leakage happens when there is increased intra-abdominal pressure during sneezing, coughing, jogging etc.
There is a direct transmission of pressure to the urinary bladder which forces urine out unintentionally. The stress leakage particularly affects those who have borne babies. The pelvic floor weakens, loses it’s tonicity and doesn’t co-operate anymore. Pelvic floor exercise helps somewhat, but definitive treatment is available in the form of tape [mid-urethral sling] to help support the outlet and thereby provide quality of life. `Over-flow incontinence is leakage of urine after the bladder is filled to the brim and leak happens when urine dribbles out through weak sphincters due to incomplete emptying.
Other conditions that affect nerves such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis could also cause incontinence by affecting the nerves of the micturition reflex. Here the symptoms are treated according to the cause.
And finally, don’t put up with this nuisance, but take advice from the doctor and ask for help. And remember, WHO has reclassified those 66 to 79 years old as middle aged and 18 to 65 years as youth or young people.
Amazing, isn’t and we will talk about this in my next blog.