Urinary-Incontinence

What is it?

  • Incontinence refers to the escape of urine via its normal passage, without meaning for it to happen and without being able to control it.
  • Some adjust to this problem by altering their lifestyle.
  • In some cases, it can also be cured.

Medical jargon used by doctors when dealing with such issues:

  • Incontinence: Accidental leaking of urine.
  • Frequency: Urination more than 7 times during the daytime.
  • Nocturia: Urination more than 2 times during the night.
  • Dysuria: Pain during urination (this may occur during the initial stages of urination or during the flow)
  • Burning Micturation: Burning sensation in the passage while urinating or when the urine touches the raw/sensitive areas of the genital region.

Problems arising due to incontinence in women:

  • Many women, suffering from this issue, tend to get embarrassed in social settings, due to the fact that, urine, when exposed for a longer duration, tends to give a foul stench.
  • They deal with this issue by frequently changing pads/panties.
  • As a result of constantly having to change the pad, many women tend to develop soreness around the genital area and experience itching and soreness.
  • The problem further gets compounded when urine touches these raw/sensitive areas, resulting in pain and a burning sensation.

Types and causes of Incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence: Occurs while coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising etc.
  • Is caused due to the issue of a weak urethra.
  • Urge Incontinence: Characterized by the strong desire to urinate even before sitting on the toilet seat or even before reaching the toilet.
  • Is caused due to an unstable bladder. This type of incontinence is at times, caused by some form of infection, bladder stones or bladder cancer.
  • In addition to some of the causes mentioned above, it has also been established that certain neurological problems such as Alzheimers disease, Parkinson’s disease and strokes can also lead to this form of incontinence.
  • Mixed Incontinence: Occurs when one or more of the above mentioned types overlap.
  • Enuresis: Characterized by bed-wetting and passage of urine without the woman realizing it (indicative of some form of neurological disease).

Other factors that compound the issue:

  • Difficulties in relation to the use of toilets.
  • Urinary infection.
  • Cough.
  • Inadequate fluid consumption (concentrated urine, giving rise to a burning sensation).
  • Excessive fluid consumption (increases frequency).
  • It is said that consumption of tea and coffee increases the frequency of urination.
  • Medication: Certain drugs cause urine retention, while others worsen the issue of incontinence.
  • Issues in terms of finding a public toilet.

Preventive measures:

  • Drink the right amount of liquids, neither too little nor too much.
  • Cut down on excessive tea/coffee consumption.
  • Avoid constipation by ensuring that your diet comprises of the right amount of food items rich in fibre.
  • Keep fit and lead an active life.
  • If overweight, try losing weight through exercise and consuming nutritious, healthy food.
  • Provide the doctor with the right description of your issue and ensure that the medicines prescribed by him/her will not further worsen your condition.