Urination is the ejection or the way of excreting urine out of the body. In normal beings urination is under their own control that is, it is voluntary. But the involuntary reflex of passage of urine is a disease and is often termed as urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is a cumbersome disease which leads to public embarrassment. You may even face urinary incontinence during sexual activity and become distressed and debilitated for such an act. Billions of women suffer this. Older woman face it more in comparison to younger ones. Though, recent studies suggest that age is not a limiting factor for getting urinary incontinence. Mainly during actions that create pressure like running, coughing heavily, etc. may make you urinate even after urinating in large amounts in no time. You may feel a sudden urge to urinate and feel a pressure always.
When your bladder contractions are not properly functioning you might have a sudden urge to urinate. These nerves carry abnormal signals that ultimately results in bladder spasms and results in urge incontinence. These abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at a wrong time, resulting in an overactive bladder, which is also a type of urinary incontinence. If you have overactive bladder you will always have an urge for urination very frequently. But above all, the good thing is- Urinary incontinence is curable!
What causes urinary incontinence?
If you are a patient of diabetes, central diabetes insipidus (which is a feeling of increased thirst), or if you suffer from an elevated chance of urinary urgency and high frequency of urination, then you may become a victim of this disorder. Other than these there are few more causes of urinary incontinence.
Some specific physical ailments
Diseases such as sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease of the spinal cord and the brain, Parkinson’s disease which is again a brain disorder which results in shaking and difficulty in walking, spinal cord injury, can all lead to improper nerve signals in the bladder.
Alzheimer’s and arthritis patients may become passive in reaching out to toilets or restrooms; this may lead to functional urinary incontinence.
A temporary incontinence may be termed as transient incontinence, which often leads to mental impairment, restricted mobility and severe constipations. This type can be treated. A mixed incontinence of both urge and stress is found in a number of women.
The stress factor
When somebody is in stressed condition like when he/she is doing physical exercises, jumping, coughing, laughing, sneezing, etc. some urine may leak out involuntarily. This is common during child birth or pregnancy. During such physical changes, sometimes the scaffolds that supports the bladder weakens, and often the urinary bladder slides down towards the vagina; thus, preventing the control of the urethra (the opening by which the urine passes out of the body) to urinate.
Over Consumption of cola or caffeine
Coffee is a great way to drive out fatigue and make you relax. And fizzy drinks are a must have in our menu. But you should know that both of these compound affects us and can make us incontinent. Women who are already incontinent should ban these from their diet.
How is it identified?
Your doctor might ask you to maintain a record of the urination, in a diary where you will take into account the apparent amount of urination, frequency of your leakage and the amount of fluid intake. You may also be asked for the entire history like any recent surgery, the drugs you take .These factors will help the doctor to judge the kind of incontinence you are suffering.
Measuring of bladder capacity is often done, and the residual urine is measured that subject to the malfunctioning of the bladder. Often urination is done in a measuring pan and the urine is collected.
You will be asked to cough by giving a bit pressure and the doctor will watch out for the loss of urine. Your urine might be cultured in the laboratory to find out the presence of any infection or urinary stones. This is known as urinalysis.
You may be even subjected to ultrasounds, which will generate a sound wave and images of your kidney, ureters (the tubes which collect urine and send to the bladder) and urinary bladder. Cystoscopy is another test performed by inserting a thin tube with a little camera into your urethra (the opening) to carefully detect the problem.
Natural way of treating urinary incontinence
Exercises may help you in controlling these sudden leakages. To do this exercise for curing urinary incontinence, sit on the floor, on a marble, and try to suck that with the help of the vagina and pick it up. Your doctor will train you to find out the right muscle, but pressure in a wrong muscle may make situations worse. A quiet place should be chosen for this exercise. Try and relax yourself and don’t hold your breath.
Pulling your pelvic muscles in for three counts and then relaxing for three counts can be useful. This should be repeated in 3 sets of 10 repeats. Do it on a regular basis but don’t overdo it. Be patient and when you are not confident about the right muscle or posture. You should ask your doctor to train you.
Treatment with medicines and surgeries
Burch procedure is a surgery where an incision is made in the abdomen and then the surgeon secures the threads to strong ligaments, thereby lending support to urethral sphinster. This in turn enables proper functioning of the sphincter muscles (that maintains the constriction of the body passages). When bladder moves out of normal position only the certain surgical method is used.
Sometimes to make the tissues thick in the bladder neck region doctors inject certain collagen fibers, near the urinary sphincter.
Some anticholingeric (blocks certain nerve transmissions), that is a drug is often used to relax the bladder muscles as a medicine in overactive bladder. But these have extreme side effects including memory loss.
Some useful tips for the patients
Intake of coffee, tea, alcohol and cola drinks should be avoided. Problems should be discussed freely with the doctor and no point of embarrassment should be felt due to incontinence. Excessive stress should be managed.
Uses of certain vaginal devices or catheterization may be helpful. Catheter is a tube which you can insert into the urethra carefully to empty your bladder completely. But these devices can lead to severe infections in the urinary tract.
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