Incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control.
Incontinence in the United States:
- 13 million Americans are incontinent.
- 1 in 3 women are incontinent.
- 1 in 9 men are incontinent.
- 1 in 6 children under the age of 17 experience incontinence.
- Radical prostatectomy is the most common cause of male incontinence.
- Above 50% of elderly people are incontinent.
- Only 1 in 12 people seek out treatment due to embarrassment and unawareness of treatment options.
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI):
Stress urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine typically caused by a weak pelvic floor. This type of incontinence occurs when certain movement or activity, such as sneezing, coughing, lifting, and laughing, increases abdominal pressure on the bladder, resulting in the leaking of urine.
In some cases, the Urethra may have too much mobility, leading it to not properly close. Childbirth, prostate surgery, obesity, smoking, and high-impact activities may cause urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles to weaken.
Fortunately, Kegels have the most effective outcome in treating stress incontinence as it strengthens your pelvic floor.
Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI):
Urge urinary incontinence is the sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate and loss of bladder control. This incontinence can range from involuntarily leaking a minor amount of urine, to the complete emptying of the bladder. As a result, it is common to lose bladder control before making it to a restroom.
UUI may occur more often as we age and can cause a need to urinate more often throughout both day and night. A variety of factors can also cause urge incontinence, including muscle and pelvic floor instability, bladder irritants (certain foods and drinks), infection, bladder stones, inflammation, and in some cases, severe conditions such as cancer, and brain or nerve issues.
Urge inhabitation techniques and pelvic floor exercises can assist in treating urge incontinence.
Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder fails to empty completely because it is too full. Experiencing small amounts of urine loss (dribbles) when using the restroom is common in this instance. Causes include weak bladder muscles, nerve damage, and bladder or urethra blockage. This type of incontinence may affect people with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, after pelvic radiation, and in men with prostate problems.
Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, and nerve stimulation are effective treatment options in limiting symptoms of overflow incontinence.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence, leading those affected to leak urine due to bladder-pressuring movements and activities (laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting) and after the sudden urge to urinate.
Fecal Incontinence (FI):
The inability to control bowel movements is known as fecal or bowel incontinence. This causes uncontrollable leakage of stool from your rectum while passing gas, to a complete loss of bowel control. Constipation, diarrhea, and nerve or muscle damage (as a result of aging or giving childbirth) may contribute to fecal incontinence and can be temporary or chronic. Other contributors include hemorrhoids, surgery, rectal prolapse and rectocele.
Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence (PPI):
As you may have assumed, post-prostatectomy incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine after having prostate surgery. It may also be a combination of stress and urge incontinence (mixed incontinence).
Pelvic floor muscle training is a first-line treatment in remedying incontinence.