What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder. It causes the involuntary urine leakage. It means a person doesn’t have control on urination.
The control over the urinary sphincter is either lost or weakened. In some cases, you may empty your bladder’s contents completely. In other cases, you may experience minor urine leakage. The condition may be temporary or chronic, depending on its cause.
How bad is my urinary incontinence?
Mild: You may have occasional urinary leakage while coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising etc. Most of the time, mild symptoms can be safely managed at home by following the tips given in the section below.
Moderate: You may experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine. It may limit instrumental activities of daily life (preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone).
Severe: See your doctor if you are waking up many times at night to urinate or urinating during sleep. It may limit self-care activities of daily life (eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet).
How to manage mild urinary incontinence?
- Limit consumption of coffee and alcohol.
- Avoid foods (dairy products, citrus fruits, sugar, chocolate, soda, tea, and vinegar) that can irritate the bladder..
- Wear an absorbent pad inside your underwear or disposable incontinence underwear.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Physical therapy can help control your bladder. Kegel exercises help to strengthen the muscles that hold in urine. Electrical stimulation is used to strengthen muscles.
- Certain medications can help control your bladder
- Medical devices can help with bladder problems. A pessary is worn in the vagina to support the bladder.
- A vaginal cream with a low dose of estrogen can help with damage caused by menopause.
- Using a small, thin tube called a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder can help control leaks.
How to manage moderate and severe urinary incontinence?
Seek, immediate medical attention if you experience:
- Trouble speaking or walking
- Weakness or tingling in any part of your body
- Loss of vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of bowel control
What causes urinary incontinence?
- Bladder cancer
- Cancer of the urethra
- Prostate cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine Cancer
- Brain or spinal cord cancers
- Lung cancer or esophageal cancer.
- Radiation to the pelvic area
- Surgery to the pelvic area
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