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Incontinence Care

About Incontinence Care

About Incontinence Care

Urinary incontinence, the lack of bladder control, is a common but distressing condition that is often found in more women than men. Symptoms can range from the occasional leakage of urine during a cough to more severe cases when the urge to urinate is incessant and disruptive to daily activities. While urinary incontinence is unfortunately often seen as an inevitable consequence of ageing or childbirth and left untreated, it can be managed through simple exercises and lifestyle modifications. Leaving urinary continence untreated is a mistake as it can have a detrimental impact on the quality of life.

Urinary incontinence, the lack of bladder control, is a common but distressing condition that is often found in more women than men. Symptoms can range from the occasional leakage of urine during a cough to more severe cases when the urge to urinate is incessant and disruptive to daily activities. 

While urinary incontinence is unfortunately often seen as an inevitable consequence of ageing or childbirth and left untreated, it can be managed through simple exercises and lifestyle modifications. Leaving urinary continence untreated is a mistake as it can have a detrimental impact on the quality of life.

What is Urinary Incontinence?

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that function as a support for the organs in the pelvis, namely the bladder, bowel and womb in women. Urinary incontinence occurs when these muscles do not work properly, thus affecting urinary control.

4 primary types of Urinary Incontinence

There are 4 primary types of urinary incontinence and it is important to know which type is present for a targeted treatment approach.

  • Stress incontinence occurs when strain on the bladder causes the leakage of urine. Examples of activities that place strain on the bladder include coughing, sneezing or jumping. 
  • Overflow incontinence occurs when the body is unable to fully empty the bladder and overflows, causing leakage. People with overflow incontinence experience frequent urination in small amounts and constant dribbling. 
  • Urge incontinence happens when overactive bladder muscles contract and signal a need to urinate even when the bladder is empty. People with urge incontinence tend to feel an urgent and immediate need to urinate even when they have just urinated.
  • Functional incontinence is the term for the leakage of urine that occurs when the urinary system is functioning normally but other diseases or disabilities prevent the person from reaching the toilet in time.

Can Urinary Incontinence be cured?

Urinary incontinence can usually be managed by identifying and treating the underlying cause. For most cases, Incontinence Therapy uses a combination of physiotherapy and lifestyle modifications.

During physiotherapy, a thorough examination will first be carried out to assess pelvic floor function and other factors that may contribute to an individual’s urinary incontinence. This will help in the creation of an individualised exercise programme to improve pelvic floor function.

Your physiotherapist may also suggest some lifestyle modifications that can help in improving symptoms. These include:

  • Exercise modification to avoid strain on bladder
  • Losing excess weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Prevention of constipation 
  • Reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water

What happens if Urinary Incontinence is left untreated?

If left untreated, urinary incontinence can lead to:

  • Skin rashes, infections and sores
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Disruptions to quality of life including but not limited to physical, social, psychological and occupational wellbeing 

Any instance of urinary incontinence is a reason to seek professional help – it is a misconception that it is normal with age or after childbirth. Urinary incontinence should not be dictating your timetable and preventing you from enjoying life. Seek help from our team of trained physiotherapists today.

FAQs

What is the most common cause of urge incontinence?

Detrusor muscles in bladder contracting too often – can be from drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, not drinking enough fluids causing buildup of strong, concentrated urine to collect in and irritate the bladder, constipation, conditions affecting the lower urinary tract, neurological conditions and certain medications.

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