Urinary Stress Incontinence is the uncontrollable and unintentional release of urine. The inability to control the urge to urinate in certain circumstances is a troubling problem and can often result in social isolation. The cause of this problem is pressure placed on the bladder, which results in the loss of urine. The word “stress” as used in this context refers to a form of physical stress on the bladder. Stress Incontinence usually occurs when laughing, coughing, sneezing, jumping or strenuous exercise. It can also happen during intercourse.
Contracting the sphincter is necessary to hold the urine inside of the bladder, and the pelvic floor muscles must help to support the bladder. When the sphincter and the pelvic muscles weaken, they do not contract as they should and thus have difficulty keeping the urine contained. The result is Urinary Stress Incontinence.
Women are more prone to experiencing this problem because pregnancy and the birth process stretch the sphincter and the pelvic muscles, which can lead to them becoming increasingly weakened. Men can also be susceptible to this problem because old age can cause this problem in both sexes. Men suffering from prostate enlargement, or surgery to remove the prostate, can also have problems holding their urine under bladder stress conditions. Inflammation of the prostate gland can also cause Stress Incontinence.
The Stress Incontinence symptoms may not always be present. A person may not show symptoms consistently in the same activity performed every day. Different people will have different symptoms because Stress Incontinence does not react the same way in each and every individual.
There are a number of treatment options to help manage this problem. Behavioral therapy offers ways to help change what may be an underlying cause. If the patient is overweight, then they will be advised to lose weight. Avoiding the activities that cause urine leakage is another step in the behavior modification process. Smoking can be a cause, so quitting may be helpful (not to mention all the other health benefits that come with quitting smoking!). Quitting smoking may also help eliminate chronic coughing, which can trigger urine leakage. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol will help since these have a bladder stimulus effect. Of course you should also moderate the amount of water and other liquids consumed during the day.
Kegel exercises may also help women control Stress Incontinence. These exercises are easy to learn with some practice, and they have proven to be very beneficial.
There is hope for people who suffer with this problem. While you are working on a solution, you can wear products that will absorb urine leakage and these will enable you to be among people without fear of embarrassment.
For more information about how The Blatman Health and Wellness Center of Cincinnati can help you with Urinary Stress Incontinence, please use our contact form or call us today at 513.956.3200