Incontinence is a very common disorder. And although it does not pose a danger to life and does not bring physical suffering, it nevertheless spoils life fairly. And most importantly, women with a similar ailment are embarrassed not only to discuss this topic, but even to go to the doctor. The result is deplorable – the incontinence itself does not go away, moreover, it progresses without treatment. And when a woman finally decides to consult a specialist, the problem is often already severely neglected and an operation has to be performed.
Incontinence – what it happens
Urinary incontinence can manifest itself in different ways.
Urine is released in portions when a woman coughs, sneezes, lifts weights, plays sports, and even laughs out loud. This is stress incontinence, or stress incontinence, associated with increased pressure within the abdominal cavity. It occurs when the muscles of the pelvic floor and the sphincter, the muscle ring that blocks the exit from the bladder, weaken.
Another option – the woman feels a sudden strong urge to urinate, and she is not able to hold urine. In addition, urine may also occasionally flow out a little involuntarily and without urge. It is urge incontinence and is caused by a malfunction of the bladder.
There is also mixed incontinence, which combines these two options.
In any case, urinary incontinence creates severe psychological discomfort for a woman. She is simply afraid to move far from the toilet: she loses the opportunity to work if it takes a long time to get to work, refuses to travel, meet friends, and take walks. Sometimes even sex life suffers, since the release of urine can be triggered by sexual intercourse.
Is stress incontinence a female disease?
Indeed, women are more likely to suffer from stress urinary incontinence. This is explained by the anatomy of the female urinary system: a relatively short (3-4 cm versus 25-30 in men) and wide (0.5-1 cm versus 0.4-0.7 cm in the stronger sex) urethra. That is why, in order to retain urine, strong pelvic muscles are needed, which not all women can boast of.
But urge incontinence is more common in older men, and it is associated with prostate adenoma, which develops in many men with age.
Who is at risk?
It is believed that incontinence is an age-related pathology. And in fact, it is often observed in women after menopause, which is caused by muscle weakening due to hormonal changes.
However, young women can also suffer from incontinence, for example, those who have had difficult childbirth or gynecological surgery.
Risk factors are also overweight, constant heavy physical exertion, diseases of the genitourinary sphere and neurological pathologies.
Heredity also plays a role – it is a predisposing factor.
How to live with incontinence
Special urological pads will help to solve the hygienic problem. Please note: it is urological. Menstrual pads are not suitable here. Firstly, they will not hold that much liquid and will leak. Secondly, they will not remove the smell. And, thirdly, they can cause skin irritation and infection of the urinary tract, as they become a breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms.
Many women suffering from incontinence completely refuse any sports activity, believing that physical exertion aggravates the pathology. This is not true: loads do cause leakage, but they are not harmful in and of themselves. On the contrary, they strengthen muscles, raise their tone, and contribute to weight control. You just need to find the right exercises, and the exercise therapy doctor will do it best.
In some cases, women restrict themselves to fluids in an attempt to solve the problem of incontinence in this way. This is a bad tactic: not drinking enough fluids can cause a host of other health problems. It is possible to reduce the risk of stress incontinence by drinking small amounts of fluids, little by little, but often, as stress incontinence gets worse if the bladder fills up quickly.
Well, in general, you don’t have to put up with incontinence. The best option is not to be shy and seek qualified help. In order to successfully cope with this ailment, it is necessary to establish its cause and only then can treatment begin. And here you can’t do without a doctor.
If the problem is identified in the early stages, it will be possible to limit ourselves to special exercises that strengthen the muscles, physiotherapy procedures, training of the bladder, it may be necessary to take medications.
Well, if the disease is neglected, you will have to go to surgery. For urinary incontinence, a large number of operations are used, including the so-called minimally invasive ones, which do not require a long period of rehabilitation. Today you underwent surgery, and tomorrow you are already at home.
The main thing is not to be afraid or ashamed: many women experience urinary incontinence. Most of them manage to be helped and return to normal life.