First & Foremost

The condition of urinary incontinence is a common problem that dramatically alters the life of men and women affected. These patients may avoid social events or otherwise change their lifestyle because of their requirements to wear pads to collect urinary leakage and concern that leakage of urine may be noticeable by odor or appearance. Fortunately, most individuals with urinary incontinence can have the cause identified and effectively treated today. In rare cases, incontinence may reflect a medical condition that can affect health such as bladder cancers.

Facts About Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine from the bladder. It affects an estimated 25 million or more Americans of all ages and economic levels. The great myth about urinary incontinence is that it is a natural part of growing older. There is nothing natural about incontinence. One in five older men suffer with incontinence and half of all women experience incontinence at some point in their lives. However, it is not a necessary consequence of having had children. Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. It should always be investigated to determine the cause. A variety of treatments are available, including behavioral interventions, drug therapy, and surgery. What was once an incurable embarrassment is now being replaced with awareness, information, and control. Still, however, only one out of every twelve people affected seeks help.

How does the normal adult body control urination?

The kidneys make urine continuously by removing waste products and excess water from the bloodstream. The urine then flows from the kidneys through two long tubes, the ureters, until it reaches the urinary bladder. The bladder then stores urine until a person feels full. At this point, one goes to the toilet to empty the bladder in a process called urination, or voiding. This involves the simultaneous contraction of the bladder wall muscles and the relaxation of the muscles at the bladder neck, or urinary sphincter. The urine then leaves the body through a small tube called the urethra.

Types of Incontinence

Stress Incontinence is the symptom of loss of urine when pressure within the abdomen increases. Stress incontinence is usually described as the involuntary loss of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Poor bladder support by the pelvic muscles results in the opening and descent of the urethra when abdominal pressure is increased.

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