If you've ever wondered why you leak a small amount of urine sometimes while laughing, this may be due to urinary incontinence. There are a few different types of urinary incontinence, but it is common amongst both men and women.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence occurs when someone is unable to stop the leakage of urine.
Urinary incontinence is most common with the following:
- Older adults
- Those who have experienced menopause
- Those who have gone through childbirth
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are different types of urinary incontinence, most of which are caused by a variety of factors.
In this case, stress is referring to extra stress, or pressure, being placed on the bladder. This is especially common in those who have given birth.
Things that can trigger stress incontinence:
Factors that can cause stress incontinence include:
- Prostate surgery
Urge incontinence occurs when a person has a very sudden urge to urinate, therefore causing urine leakage.
Things that can trigger urge incontinence:
- Sudden movements
- Sound of running water
Factors that can cause urge incontinence include:
- Inflammation of the bladder lining
- Enlarged prostate
Overflow incontinence occurs when a person cannot completely drain their bladder when urinating. This will generally happen if something is blocking the bladder.
Factors that can cause overflow incontinence include:
- Enlarged prostate
- Urinary stones
- A tumor
Total incontinence occurs when a person's bladder is unable to store urine properly.
Factors that can cause total incontinent include:
- A fistula
- Birth defect
- Spinal cord injury
Total incontinence would most likely require a catheter to be inserted. A catheter is a tube that is inserted into the body to direct the urine out of the body and into a bag.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options
A common way to treat incontinence is by utilizing bladder training. One way to train your bladder is to resist the urge to urinate. This may be useful with urge incontinence. When the urge to urinate arises, hold off a bit longer before relieving your bladder. Another bladder training exercise is by creating a bathroom schedule and only relieving your bladder on schedule.
Other options include:
- Urethral inserts
- Pads or diapers
If you've worked with your doctor and are still unable to relieve your urinary incontinence, there are also some surgery options. Surgery is a last resort and should be discussed with your doctor thoroughly before deciding.