Urinary Incontinence Is a Common Condition and It’s Time We Start Talking about It

Mar 14,2017

The sight of men and women frequently rushing to the washroom is common. Though it may seem an ordinary issue, more often than not, it is a condition that needs medication. Urinary incontinence, or the inability to control the urge to urinate, is a fairly common problem. But due to the taboo associated with it, it is seldom discussed. But there are several questions regarding the condition that needs to be answered.

What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary leakage of urine. An individual is said to be have urinary incontinence when they urinate even when they do not want to. Contrary to popular opinion, incontinence is not a disease rather a symptom that plagues women more than men. According to a study, an estimated 30 percent of females, aged 30-60, are thought to suffer from it as compared to 1.5-5 percent of men.

Why does it happen?

There are several reasons that cause urinary incontinence.

  • Certain drinks, food items, and medications can act as diuretics. Consuming them can stimulate your bladder and increase the volume of urine. Drinking excessive alcohol, caffeine, or carbonated drinks can lead to urinary incontinence.
  • Urinary infection is also an important causative factor for incontinence. Infections can adversely affect the functioning of the bladder. If you suffer from an urinary tract infection, chances are high  you will have strong and frequent urges to urinate.
  • Constipation increases urinary frequency.

But these are considered temporary factors that cause urinary incontinence.

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It can also be a persistent condition caused by certain physical changes.

  • Hormonal changes and sudden increased weight of the uterus in pregnant women can lead to stress incontinence.
  • Vaginal delivery also tends to weaken the muscles required for bladder control. It also damages bladder nerves.
  •  With age, bladder muscles tend to age. This decreases its capacity to store urine.
  • Urinary incontinence is also a common condition for women who are going through their menopause.
  • Surgical removal of the uterus can cause urinary incontinence in women.
  • Incontinence is a common condition in older men. Those who suffer from an enlarged prostrate have frequent urges to urinate.

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Taboos surrounding the condition

Urinary incontinence is more common in women, and those who suffer from it are endlessly shamed. Though it is a extremely common condition, it is seldom discussed in the open. Women, who suffer from it often refuse to disclose it, and seek help.

You can read a first-hand account of a woman, who suffered from urinary incontinence for a long time, here.

 How can you deal with it?

There are different ways you can adopt to deal with this condition.

  • A change in lifestyle, and a conscious abstinence from certain drinks and food products can go a long way in keeping urinary incontinence at bay. Doctors generally advise to avoid spicy food, carbonated drinks and caffeine.
  • Certain medications available in the market can prevent bladder spasms. Consult your doctor to know more about them.
  • Diapers, though often associated with children can be used by adults too. Adult diapers are extremely effective in preventing leakage. There are several brands available in the market, and one such is Friends Adult Diapers. If you suffer from incontinence, you must use them without feeling any sense of shame.
  • Surgery is often considered as the solution for people who suffer from extreme urinary incontinence.

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