Urinary incontinence (UI) is the involuntary loss or leakage of urine because of faulty bladder control. Due to pregnancy, structure of the female urinary tract and menopause, women experience urinary incontinence twice as often as men. And according to various studies, 25-45 percent of women in the United States experience some degree of urinary incontinence. In women between 20 and 39 years old, 7-37 percent report some degree of incontinence, while 9-39 percent of women older than 60 report daily incontinence.
Two types of incontinence
Urinary incontinence may result from functional abnormalities in the lower urinary tract or may be caused by other illnesses. There are two types of incontinence, stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary urine leakage from effort, exertion, sneezing or coughing. Stress incontinence occurs because of weakened pelvic floor muscles. It is the most common type of urinary incontinence in young women and the second most common one in older women. This type of incontinence will lead to urine leaks when performing any activity that increases strain on the weakened pelvic floor muscles, such as walking, jumping, exercise, bending, stretching, sneezing, coughing, lifting, and even sex. The amount of leaked urine varies from a few drops up to a tablespoon or more, depending on the severity of the condition.
Urge urinary incontinence is the involuntary urine leakage that is accompanied or immediately preceded by urgency (an abrupt or sudden compelling desire to pass urine that is very difficult to defer). Urge incontinence occurs because of overactivity of the detrusor muscle, with its hallmark being a sudden, overwhelming urge to pass urine, accompanied by leakage or loss of urine. Nighttime urination and frequent urination often occur with urge incontinence. For some women with urge incontinence, even changing a sitting position or hearing running water can trigger bladder contractions and result in urine loss. While urge incontinence may occur in anyone of any age, it is common among older women. Actually, just 9 percent of women ages 40-44 suffer from urge incontinence while at least 31 percent of women 75 and older have the condition.
Seek immediate help
Involuntary leakage of urine is more than a health concern. It affects women on a psychological, social and emotional level. Women with urinary incontinence may avoid certain situations or places for fear of having a leakage accident. In fact, for a significant number of women, the incontinence may be so serious that it calls for changing clothes and avoiding certain tasks and exercises. Some women also may experience mixed incontinence, a condition where urge incontinence and stress incontinence occur at the same time. Therefore, it is important for women experiencing urine leakage of any kind to seek help from a urologist to determine whether they are suffering from urge incontinence, stress incontinence, mixed incontinence or another issue.
At Advanced Urology Institute, we understand that there are a significant number of women living with a lot worse problems than they should. We provide top-notch facilities and experienced board-certified urologists to help such women. For more information, visit the site, Advanced Urology Institute.