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What is urinary incontinence?

The loss of urine or bladder control which leads to leakage of urine is termed as urinary incontinence. It occurs mostly in older people, especially in females. With increasing age, the risk of urinary incontinence also increases. It happens when the sphincter muscles of the urinary bladder are unable to control the flow of urine. They are of various types like stress, urge, overflow, mixed, function and total incontinence.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Some of the common signs and symptoms are :

  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating in bed
  • Feeling of pressure in the pelvic region
  • Leakage of urine while laughing or coughing too hard
  • Dribbling of urine
  • Sensation of incomplete clearance of urine after using the washroom

What are the main causes?

Urinary incontinence is caused due to various reasons such as :

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The doctor checks physically for possible abnormalities after a detailed history taking. Some of the tests performed are:

  • Urinalysis- microscopic and culture
  • Post void residual (PVR) test– It helps in identifying the amount of urine left in the bladder after completing urination.
  • Blood tests to look for autoimmune antibodies, etc.
  • Cystogram – It is a type of X-ray of the bladder.
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Urodynamic testing – It assess the amount of pressure the bladder and urinary sphincter muscle can withstand.
  • Cystoscopy

After the diagnosis, the patient is treated by various methods such as:

  • Urine drainage bags can be used to collect the urine.
  • Absorbent products such as pads, panty liners, adult diapers can also be used.
  • Antimicrobial cleansers are used to decrease redness and rash on the skin caused due to leakage of urine.
  • Intermittent catheterization – Urine is collected through a catheter inserted in the urethra. A catheter is a flexible tube placed in the bladder. They are made up of latex with Teflon or silicone coating. Once the catheter is inserted, a balloon is inflated so that the catheter won’t fall out.
  • External collecting systems known as condom or Texas catheters are rolled over the penis in men.
  • Toilet substitutes like bedside commodes or commode seats, bed pans and urinals can be used.
  • Pelvic muscle exercises like Kegel exercises are also helpful.
  • Timed voiding – In this method, there is a set schedule for urination which helps in controlling the bladder..
  • Biofeedback – It helps in making the person aware of the body signals. It helps in regaining muscle control of the bladder and urethra.
  • Consumption of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco should be completely stopped.

 

  1. Medicines for Urinary Incontinence
  2. Doctors for Urinary Incontinence
Dr. Virender Kaur Sekhon

Dr. Virender Kaur Sekhon

Urology
14 Years of Experience

Dr. Rajesh Ahlawat

Dr. Rajesh Ahlawat

Urology
44 Years of Experience

Dr. Prasun Ghosh

Dr. Prasun Ghosh

Urology
26 Years of Experience

Dr. Pankaj Wadhwa

Dr. Pankaj Wadhwa

Urology
26 Years of Experience

References

  1. National Association for Continence. URINARY INCONTINENCE OVERVIEW. USA [Internet]
  2. National Institute on Aging [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults
  3. Urology Care Foundation [Internet]. American Urological Association; What is Urinary Incontinence?
  4. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Urinary incontinence.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Urinary Incontinence
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