Urinary Incontinence

Our womans health Physiotherapist Noelia Mendoza shares some important information of urinary incontinence.

According to the NHS, urinary incontinence (UI) is described as the unintentional passing of urine. Research shows that 25 to 45 percent of women have some degree of UI. In women ages 20 to 39, 7 to 37 percent report some degree of UI. Approximately 9 to 39 percent of women older than 60 report daily UI. Women experience UI twice as often as men. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference.

TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE

  • Stress incontinence: when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
  • Urge incontinence: when urine leaks as you feel a sudden, intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
  • Overflow incontinence (chronic urinary retention): when you’re unable to fully empty your bladder, which causes frequent leaking
  • Total incontinence: when your bladder can’t store any urine at all, which causes you to pass urine constantly or have frequent leaking

CAUSES

Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.

Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.

Overflow incontinence is often caused by an obstruction or blockage to your bladder, which prevents it emptying fully.

Total incontinence may be caused by a problem with the bladder from birth, a spinal injury, or a bladder fistula.

Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence developing, including pregnancy and vaginal birth, obesity, a family history of incontinence, increasing age – although incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing

WHEN YOU SHOULD ASK FOR MEDICAL ADVICE?

If you feel any of these symptoms (leakage when coughing, laughing or exercising, urgency to go to the toilet) you should go to GP, nurse, specialist physiotherapist, urologist or urogynecologist. They will take a medical history and they will do an internal physical examination to find the cause and arrange the goals of the treatment.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT OF THE TREATMENT?

Treatment will give you advice about diet and drinks, bladder training (increasing slowly the frequency of going to the toilet and doing it in regular timed intervals), pelvic floor exercises, manual therapy to release the muscle tension, GPs and consultants can prescribe some medication to release the bladder or decrease muscle spasms, and as last option surgery.

For more information give us a call on 0118 9462299.