Urinary Incontinence (UI) refers to the accidental leakage of urine in both men and women. There are various types of urinary incontinence including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence and functional incontinence.
Stress incontinence occurs when there is involuntary loss of urine through actions that cause abdominal pressure to the bladder. Stress incontinence may occur when one sneezes, coughs, laughs or lifts something. Stress incontinence may also be caused by pregnancy and childbirth in women as this causes a strain the pelvic muscles. Other causes include prostrate surgery, some types of medications and being obese. Stress incontinence can be treated by doing Kegel exercises that strengthen muscles that hold urine and surgery to support the bladder and devices that reposition the urethra.
Urge incontinence occurs when a person has an urgent need to go to the bathroom but does not make it there on time and so the bladder leaks urine. Urge incontinence is also known as overactive bladder and it is caused by damage to the nervous system or to muscles especially around the bladder. Diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, bladder stones and multiple sclerosis could damage nerves leading to urge incontinence. Overactive bladder may be treated using anticholinergics which help to relax bladder muscles, neuromodulation which stimulates nerves, electrostimulation, bladder training or surgery.
Overflow incontinence is the frequent dribbling of urine and it occurs when a person is not able to empty the bladder appropriately. Overflow incontinence might be caused by weak bladder muscles, blocked urethra, constipation, and conditions that can obstruct urine flow. Overflow incontinence can be treated through use of catheters to empty the bladder.
Functional incontinence occurs when a person has physical conditions like arthritis or even mental problems like dementia. These conditions cause one not to get to the bathroom on time and there is urine leakage. This can be treated through treating the underlying medical conditions, bladder training and Kegel exercises.