The Problem of Incontinence

The involuntary passing of urine due to some sort of injury or disease is termed as urinary incontinence. Sometimes this loss of bladder control can be very embarrassing and frustrating. In women who are mainly affected, the problem of incontinence usually results from the weakness of the bladder neck muscle around the top of the urethra. This muscle helps close the bladder, or from weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Weakness of these muscles may accompany ageing and other disorders affecting the nerves supplying these muscles or injury to the muscles or their nerves. Other causes of incontinence include irritation of the bladder wall muscle, making it contract unexpectedly. Various types of incontinence include urge incontinence, overflow incontinence and stress incontinence.

Stress incontinence is basically due to the weakness of the bladder neck and pelvic floor muscles. It is the leakage of urine that occurs due to increased pressure in the abdomen while coughing, jumping, lifting some weight or even while laughing. It is very common type of incontinence among the pregnant women. Overflow incontinence is due to the chronic urinary retention.

This is because bladder is not able to empty and remains full. This leads to the constant dribbling of urine. Urge incontinence is the irresistible urge to empty the bladder. Urge incontinence occurs generally during night. Stress, consumption of certain drugs and urinary tract infection are the factors leading to the problem of urge incontinence. Sensible and mild exercise during pregnancy and after childbirth is very effective in strengthening the pelvic floor and hence in preventing stress incontinence.

Avoid taking foods which contain oxalate because they can increase the frequency of urination during morning hours. Obesity encourages the problem of incontinence and therefore you are advised to keep weight under control. You should keep your genital area clear and dry. It will help in avoiding irritation of the urethra due to infection. You should avoid taking drinks which contain caffeine. Caffeine containing drinks may increase the irritation of the bladder lining.