Urinary Incontinence

Types Of Urinary Incontinence

Before we dive into how physical therapy can help urinary incontinence, it is important to know the different types of urinary incontinence.

  1. Urge Incontinence: Having an abnormally increased urge to urinate that can cause increased urinary frequency. Sometimes leakage of urine will occur before you make it to the bathroom.
  2. Stress Incontinence: Leaking of urine during activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising
  3. Mixed Incontinence: You can have an overlap of both stress and urge incontinence with feelings of both urgency and leaking.
  4. Functional Incontinence: Something relating to physical or neurological reasons limits the person from getting to the bathroom even if they have an awareness they need to urinate. Examples may include a patient with dementia, Parkinson’s, or an orthopedic issue that limits them from navigating to the bathroom.


What Causes Urinary Incontinence

Temporary urinary incontinence is the stimulation of your bladder thus increasing your volume of urine.  Certain foods, drinks, and medications can cause this, including caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, spicy foods, citrus foods, heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives, and muscle relaxants. Persistent urinary incontinence is a persistent condition caused by underlying physical problems or changes, including pregnancy, childbirth, age, menopause, hysterectomy, enlarged prostate, tumors, or a neurological disorder.


What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence can be triggered by many outside influences and a lot of these result in the feeling of stress and extra pressure around your bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.  You can also feel the sudden intense urge to urinate followed by the loss of that urgency.  You may also experience dribbling of urine if the bladder does not empty completely.  You experience one or more types of urinary incontinence.


Urinary Incontinence Risk Factors

These are some factors that increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence. Gender plays a role as women are more likely to have stress incontinence. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and normal female anatomy account for this difference. But, men with prostate gland problems are at increased risk of urge and overflow incontinence.  Age plays a role, as you get older, the muscles in your bladder and urethra lose some of their strength. With the extra weight around your bladder, it increases the pressure, this weakens the surrounding muscles and allows urine to leak out when you cough or sneeze. If you have a family history with urinary incontinence, especially urge incontinence, your risk of developing the condition is higher.


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