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Incontinence Information and Facts

Incontinence Information

Incontinence Information

Here at we try to provide information that you will find useful. We try hardest to answer questions that may be embarrassing to ask in person.

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.

Urge Incontinence. Urge incontinence 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 mixed incontinence.

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 Category.