Stress incontinence is a medical condition that results in urine flowing from the bladder through the urethra outside the body when some type of physical movement or activity occurs.
For example, a cough or sneeze might result in stress urinary incontinence, as could other movements that put undue pressure on the bladder.
Laughing, lifting heavy objects, engaging in sex and all forms of exercise can cause urine leakage. Other causes may be childbirth, obesity, prostrate surgery, smoking and more.
As we age the pelvic and bladder muscles weaken
The human bladder is designed to expand as it fills with urine, and the tube that carries urine out of the body will stay closed until the individual is able to reach a bathroom.
However, as men and women age the pelvic and bladder muscles weaken and regulating urine release becomes more difficult which can result in stress incontinence.
Certainly, urinary stress incontinence does not occur in every instance. Some activities are more prone to bladder leakages than others. A prime example is doing jumping jacks. Any activity or movement that puts pressure on pelvic floors will exert pressure on bladders to leak urine to occur.
Those with stress incontinence may limit their social interactions
Stress incontinence can have psychological and emotional consequences. Due to stigma and embarrassment of bladder leaks in social settings, those who have stress incontinence may choose to participate in social settings where access to restrooms is important.
People with stress incontinence may limit their social interactions and leisure activities to avoid the possibility of experiencing loss of bladder control in public. However, these limitations are not needed when coping techniques are learned and stress incontinence is properly managed.
See a doctor for diagnosis and coping techniques
If you are experiencing extreme urine leakage it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. There are a variety of suggestions for coping with urinary stress incontinence and minimizing leakage. For example, the doctor may suggest a series of pelvic exercises designed to strengthen those muscles that control urine release.
There are other ways to control stress incontinence
Weight loss may be a necessary intervention as well. Other suggestions include drinking less caffeine coffee/tea beverages, and maintaining a bathroom schedule where you release urine at regular intervals. Experts in the field suggest keeping track of how often you feel the urge to empty your bladder and urinating before you have the urge. This is helpful to doctors who want to know frequencies of urination so they can base their medical opinion on which course of action to take.
Conversely, doctors may suggest that if you find you have an uncontrollable urge too often, then begin the process of ‘training’ your bladder. Force yourself to wait an extra ten minutes before emptying your bladder so that it ‘gets used’ to this extended wait time.
Wearable devices can help reduce your concerns
There are also a variety of wearable and/or disposable devices that will help to prevent any embarrassing visible leaks in public. Incontinence underwear/devices/botox/surgical procedures can help to cope with incontinence anxieties. There is no silver bullet for for the 28 million Americans who suffer from urinary stress incontinence every day.
Finally, there are more and more drugs being developed to help regulate urine release, so there is no need to suffer in silence today. There is also research currently underway for stem cells research to help with problems of bladder control and leaks. Make an appointment with your doctor today and get back out there and enjoy life!