Why Are You Incontinent? And 3 Things You Can Do About It.

Discover why you are incontinent and then what you can do about it.
Incontinence can be caused by any number of things. There are several types, and they all have different causes. 

In stress incontinence, for example, muscle weakening often causes urine leaks when strain is put on the bladder or damage. This can be from aging, or child birth, or some other factor.

In urge incontinence, bladder irritation can lead to worsening of the problem.

In overflow incontinence, blockage of the bladder, or narrowing caused by cancer, scar tissue, or an enlarged prostate, etc. can cause constant dribbling of urine.

As you can see there are lots of causes and that doesn’t even account for functional incontinence where a disease can make the individual unable to control the bladder, or an anatomic abnormality such as a fistula or nerve damage leading to problems.

Some risk factors for incontinence include:

Gender. Gender can impact your likelihood of incontinence. Stress incontinence is more common in women than in men due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and normal female anatomy. Overflow and urge incontinence is more common in men with prostate gland problems.

Age. Aging causes muscles in your bladder and urethra to lose strength and reduce how much your bladder can hold as well as increasing the likelihood of involuntary urine release. Growing older doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have incontinence, but it can increase the likelihood.

Weight. Being obese or overweight can often increase pressure on the bladder and surrounding muscles. This can weaken them and allows urine to leak when you cough or sneeze.

Smoking. A chronic cough from smoking can cause incontinence or aggravate incontinence. A smoker’s cough may lead to stress incontinence, or smoking may increases the risk of an overactive bladder by causing bladder contractions.

Other diseases. Kidney disease or diabetes, neurological diseases or spinal injuries can all affect nerves controlling urination.

Once you discover why you are incontinent, it is time to figure out what you can do about it. This is usually accomplished in three steps.

1. Get a diagnosis. The type of incontinence you have will impact the best and most effective treatment plan. See a professional health care provider to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan.

2. Start treatment options. There are lots of options for treating incontinence, and the option you use will depend on the severity. Are you suffering light bladder leakage? Or total incontinence? Or do you fall somewhere in between? Kegel exercises and bladder training are a great starting place. However, depending on the cause and severity, you may need treatments such as catheters and surgery.

3. Protect against leaks. Even when treating your incontinence, chances are it will take some time before you see significant results. In the meantime, maintain normalcy and dignity with management using absorbent products.

Consumers buying incontinence products the first time can easily be confused which product, brand, style, size or absorbency to purchase. And once the package is opened, they can’t be returned, so mistakes can be costly. Here are some helpful resources to help you avoid this problem:

  • Samples: Allows you to try before you buy, you can choose from more than 100 samples. 
Watch this video: Incontinence Product Finder

Further Reading: 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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