Incontinence Information and Facts
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we try to provide information that you will find useful. We try
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Here is some information
that you may not know about incontinence. It has been estimated
that up to 13 million Americans (approximately 85% are women),
suffer from incontinence. What many incontinence sufferers do
not realize is that up to 60% of them can be cured or dramatically
improved. One common assumption is that incontinence is inevitable
as we age. This is not true, even among the very elderly. There
are several different types of incontinence;
Stress Incontinence. This form of incontinence is the
most common kind. Stress incontinence is found often in women
over the age of 40 who have borne several children. Also, post-menopausal
women whose estrogen level has lowered, suffer from incontinence
due to thinning of vaginal tissues.
is the abrupt and unstoppable desire to urinate. This is more
common in people over the age of 60, and affects both sexes. This
condition can be caused by an overactive bladder, or a bladder
tumor, which would cause the bladder to contract involuntarily.
In some cases, stress and urge incontinence combine. This is called
Overflow Incontinence. Overflow incontinence is a physical
obstruction that prevents the bladder from emptying completely.
The result of a previous operation for incontinence or a bladder
that doesn't squeeze well enough to empty is what causes this
condition in women. In men, it is caused by a benign enlargement
of the prostate.
Many factors, physical
or pharmaceutical, can contribute to incontinence. Any neurological
or spinal trauma can cause incontinence. Also, various medications,
such as some sedatives, alpha blockers, sleeping pills, tricyclic
antidepressants, diuretics and cold tablets can cause incontinence.
In addition to these variables, constipation, obesity, or a chronic
lung disease accompanied by coughing can cause loss of bladder
control. Even a mild physical exertion such as sneezing causes
bladder support muscles to pull downward, increasing pressure
around the bladder.
Incontinence is highly
treatable. Depending on the severity of incontinence, there are
a myriad treatments. One of the easiest methods is to change the
amount and type of fluid intake. Coffee and alcohol acts as diuretics
(they increase the amount of urine discharged from the body),
and as such should be avoided. Another easy method is retraining
the bladder to gradually increase the time between bathroom visits.
Then there are Kegel exercises that help to strengthen muscles
in the bladder. Kegel exercises involve stopping the urinary flow
two to three times when you urinate. In addition, practicing 5
to 15 such sets of squeezing per day when not urinating over the
course of months. Crossing one's legs before sneezing and coughing
is another way of controlling the bladder.
Of course, before
starting any treatment, an incontinence sufferer definitely should
consult a physician. There are physicians who are board certified
not only in urology and gynecology but also urogynecology (the
female urinary tract). A urogynecologist can recommend vaginal
weights such as Femtone, or a pessary (a medicated vaginal device),
or a bladder-neck support prosthesis to be worn internally. For
men, there are alpha-blocker blood-pressure drugs
that are used for an enlarged prostate.
We hope that you are
among the millions of people that can use a simple Doctor visit
to overcome problems with incontinence. If you have seen your
Doctor, you can still benefit from the security and indepence
of an absorbent undergarment.
Please see our Incontinence Product