Urinary incontinence is the unintentional release of urine that results from the loss of control or weakening of the urinary sphincter. According to the American Urological Association, the condition affects one-quarter to one-third of both sexes in the United States.
However, urinary incontinence seems to be more prevalent among women compared to men. In fact, it is estimated that 30% of women between 30 and 60 years are believed to suffer from this condition.
Urinary incontinence is caused when the muscles and nerves responsible for holding or releasing urine encounter problems. Certain habits, physical problems, or medical conditions can cause the condition.
Menopause — Estrogen helps in keeping the urethra and bladder lining healthy. However, after a woman has aged, less estrogen is produced, meaning the tissues are likely to weaken. This causes incontinence in the end.
Childbirth — Delivering through the vagina can weaken the supportive tissue and bladder nerves, causing the pelvic floor to drop. This weakens the muscles needed for bladder control and can lead to incontinence.
Some Medications, Drinks, and Foods — Certain types of drugs, drinks, and foods can stimulate the bladder and can increase the volume of urine since they act as diuretics. These include:
- Corn syrup
- Carbonated drinks
- Decaffeinated coffee and tea
- Muscle relaxants
- Significant amounts of vitamin B or C
- Foods with a high amount of acid, sugar, or spice
- Artificial sweeteners
- Heart and blood pressure drugs
Infection of the Urinary Tract — When you have an infection in your urinary tract, the bladder will be irritated, and you will feel a strong urge to urinate. In some cases, you may experience incontinence.
Neurological Disorders — Certain neurological conditions can interfere with nerve signals that are responsible for bladder control. These conditions include:
- Brain tumor
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Aging — As a woman ages, the bladder muscles also age and this reduces the capacity of the bladder to store urine.
Solutions depend on the cause, severity, and the type of incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Exercises — The pelvic floor muscles assist in holding urine. Therefore, if these muscles weaken (because of extra weight, or pregnancy), leakages may be experienced. However, Kegel exercises can help strengthen the muscles. A Kegel exercise is like the exercise performed when trying to stop urine. When performing this exercise, identifying the right muscles is the key.
Scheduling Toilet Trips — You are better off urinating after every hour rather than waiting for your bladder to be full.
Weight Loss — More weight puts more pressure on your bladder or urethra and can lead to leaks.
Wearable Diapers/Pads — One of the easiest ways to prevent leaks is by liquid-absorbent diapers or pads. Aeroflow Healthcare provides diapers for all ages. If you are not for the diaper idea, then you can get adult pull-ups and briefs. Incontinence supplies are provided through insurance, Medicaid or can be paid for with cash. Aeroflow can even send you monthly shipments of diapers so you don’t have to run to the store last minute!
Using Anticholinergics — Anticholinergics can help calm your bladder. Examples include trospium, fesoterodine, oxybutynin, darifenacin, tolterodine, and solefenacin. Other medications are:
- Mirabegron (Myrbetriq)
- Topical estrogen
Urinary incontinence is a symptom; it is not a disease. Despite its causes, it has viable solutions. Let Aeroflow help you get back on track to a healthy, active lifestyle with incontinence items like diapers, pads and bed chux. We have everything you need to treat incontinence most effectively.