“What every woman should know about incontinence”
Urinary Incontinence refers to the inability of a woman to control the passage of urine. The problem ranges from occasional leakage during normal daily activities to the complete inability to hold urine. The effects of this problem on a woman’s lifestyle are embarrassing and life-altering.
There are three types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress Incontinence: Loss of small amounts of urine during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.
- Urge Incontinence: A strong, sudden need to urinate followed by instant bladder contraction and involuntary loss of urine. You do not have enough time to react to the first urge to urinate until the urine comes out.
- Mixed Incontinence: A combination of stress and urge incontinence. This is the most common problem we treat.
How common is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is extremely common in women. It can occur at any age, but is more likely to develop as you get older. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence. The real number is probably much higher since women are embarrassed by the condition and often reluctant to discuss it, even with their doctor. Others think it is a normal part of ageing and cannot be treated. Most cases of urinary incontinence, however, can be successfully treated.
Treatment options vary based on cause and extend of symptoms. Options include surgical as well as non-surgical
Fecal incontinence (also called bowel or anal incontinence) is the inability to control your bowel movements, causing stool (feces) to leak unexpectedly. The condition ranges from occasional leakage of a small quantity of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control.
How common is fecal incontinence? More than 5.5 million Americans have fecal incontinence. It is more common in women.
Causes – The anal sphincter muscles become weaker as you grow older. These muscles or the nerves supplying them can also be damaged from trauma, particularly childbirth. Medical conditions such as diabetes and stroke can also cause both urinary and fecal incontinence .
Fortunately, effective treatments are available for fecal incontinence, improving and (in some cases) restoring bowel control. As with urinary incontinence, treatment options are determined by a thorough evaluation of the cause of your problem.