Many women experience leaking urine and assume it is a normal part of aging. In fact, they think it’s common but are embarrassed to admit it. So they don’t discuss it with their health care providers. It is important to know that leaking urine is not a normal part of aging. And it’s treatable!
What is leaking urine?
Urinary incontinence is the medical word for leaking urine and the loss of bladder control. This includes dribbling a small amount of urine to completely soaking underwear. It often happens randomly and can be at the worst times – when out in public or when you’re far from a restroom.
How common is it?
Over 25 million Americans have some type of urinary incontinence. Leaking urine can occur in males and females, but it is much more common in females. Women who have given birth have an increased risk of developing urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence does occur more commonly with age. However, just because it’s common, it doesn’t mean that it is normal. Talking with your healthcare provider about your symptoms is the first step in getting relief and taking control of your life.
Causes of leaking urine
There are several different causes of urinary incontinence. The main types include stress, overflow, urge, and neurogenic incontinence.
This type of incontinence occurs when there is an increased amount of pressure or stress on the bladder. This is caused by increased abdominal pressure, which occurs during pregnancy, running, or even coughing and laughing.
Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden sensation of needing to urinate. Many times you may not make it to the bathroom in time. There are a variety of causes of urge incontinence, such as a urinary tract infection or overactive bladder (OAB). Another cause of urge incontinence is diabetes.
Overflow incontinence occurs when your bladder is too full or you’re unable to completely empty your bladder. This can be caused by problems with the bladder muscle, a blockage of the urethra, or nerve damage.
Neurogenic incontinence occurs when the brain is unable to control the function of the bladder. This occurs when there is damage to the nervous system. Common causes include spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, or stroke.
Fortunately, urinary incontinence can be treated. The treatment depends on the underlying cause as well as the type of urinary incontinence.
Pelvic floor strengthening exercises can often help manage stress incontinence. There are several medications available.
If physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and medications aren’t effective enough, there are other ways to get relief.
Some examples of effective, minimally invasive treatments for urinary incontinence are:
Stop letting leaking urine control your life – schedule an appointment today by calling 843-347-2450!