What is Stress and Urge Incontinence?

Incontinence is the involuntary release of urine. While it is very common, it can be uncomfortable and, for some, embarrassing. Fortunately, being well-informed can help treat the problem and restore peace of mind.

Incontinence is generally and broadly classified into two groups: stress and urge incontinence.

Strength24_Stress and Urge IncontinenceStress incontinence occurs the most frequently. It is the result of the weakening of the pelvic floor muscle. After delivering a baby, women are susceptible to stress incontinence due to the effects on the urinary tract of childbearing and giving birth. As pressure is applied to the bladder, the recently weakened urinary tract is unable to withhold the urine and it is involuntarily released. This pressure may come from a variety of everyday activities such as lifting objects, jogging, or even sneezing.

Urge incontinence is the less common category. Urge incontinence occurs in women during and after menopause. The occurrence of incontinence is, understandably, emotionally taxing for women who are already undergoing a drastic change in their lives. Another possible cause of urge incontinence is bladder surgery, prostate cancer, or radiation therapy. No matter the cause, incontinence is never an easy thing to face, but there is help.

Urge incontinence is described as the sudden and uncontrollable need for urination. This may occur either during sleep or while awake. The causes for urge incontinence are generally more broad than stress incontinence and may require further investigation to understand the cause of each particular case.

Yet another type of incontinence is called overflow incontinence. Put simply, it is the overflow of urine which has not been released in regular intervals and amounts. The most common cause of this type of incontinence is an enlarged prostate (although there are many other possible causes). As the prostate swells, it blocks the usual flow of urine and results in a blockage. The urine which is built up in the bladder eventually creates too much pressure and is involuntarily released.

The urine that remains in the bladder has its own negative side-effects. Bacteria may build up in the urine and result in a urinary tract infection. It is important to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing incontinence, as it may lead to illness or be the sign of a more serious problem, such as prostate cancer.

Reflex incontinence is significantly different from the previously mentioned varieties. It can be a more shocking experience for the individual becomes it comes without the physical urge to urinate. The release of urine surprises the individual completely. Reflex incontinence can be causes by a variety of neurological problems.

It is possible to suffer from multiple types of incontinence. “Mixed incontinence” can be harder to understand and may require additional investigation.

Urinary incontinence can have a day-to-day impact on a person’s life. Aside from the general discomfort, an individual may have to spend unusually high amounts of time in the bathroom. Additionally, they may have to use the bathroom more frequently than is convenient, and find their lives being interrupted too often. For most people, incontinence is a detriment to their quality of life.

No matter what type of incontinence a person is experiencing, it is important to speak with a doctor or family physician. Treatment options can be explored and the cause of  incontinence should be determined. If the incontinence is a sign of a more serious illness, it is important to catch it as early as possible.

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About Valerie Springfield

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