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Urinary Incontinence is a common and embarrassing problem that involves the loss of bladder control. Depending on its severity, you may experience occasional urine leakage to feeling a sudden and unpredictable strong urge to urinate.

There are several types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence. You may leak urine when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting something heavy.

  • Urge incontinence. You have a sudden and strong urge to urinate, followed by involuntary urine leakage. There is only a short time frame between your urge to urinate and the release of uncontrolled urine.

  • Overflow incontinence. Your bladder may not empty completely, resulting in the constant dribbling of urine.

  • Functional incontinence. You may not reach the bathroom in time due to mobility issues or other medical conditions, and urine is released as a result.

  • Mixed incontinence. You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

As urinary incontinence may cause you embarrassment, affect your quality of life, or even indicate an underlying medical condition, you should see a doctor to manage the condition. Make an enquiry or an appointment to find out more about urinary incontinence, or to speak to our doctors about it.

Causes and Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Most of the time, urinary incontinence is a symptom of another medical condition, or a result of everyday habits. It is rarely a disease by itself.

Some common causes of urinary incontinence include:

  • Diet. Consuming certain bladder-stimulating food and drinks, such as chocolate, alcohol, carbonated drinks and large doses of vitamin C

  • Urinary tract infection. Bacteria from the infection may irritate your bladder and cause you to have strong urges to urinate

  • Age. Your bladder’s ability to store urine may decrease as you age. Involuntary bladder contractions may also become more frequent.

  • Enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate can squeeze your urethra and affect urine flow.

  • Menopause. Women will produce less oestrogen after menopause, which keeps the bladder and urethra lining healthy. With less oestrogen to maintain a healthy urinary system, women who have undergone menopause will be at higher risk of developing urinary incontinence. 

Diagnosing and Treating Urinary Incontinence

Your symptoms, as well as the type of urinary incontinence you have, will help guide treatment decisions. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination and obtain your medical history. You may also be required to perform activities that demonstrate incontinence, such as coughing.

Your doctor may also recommend additional diagnostic tests, such as urine tests or pelvic scans to confirm the symptoms and determine the type of urinary incontinence you have.

A combination of treatments may be needed to treat urinary continence. They may include:

  • Pelvic floor exercises. Your doctor may recommend you work with a physiotherapist who can guide you on exercises to strengthen this set of muscles.

  • Medication. Your doctor may prescribe you medication that may relax your bladder, and make it easier to urinate or empty your bladder completely.

  • Bladder training. Your doctor may get you to keep a diary of the number of times you urinate and leak, so you can plan to empty your bladder before any leakage happens.

  • Bladder control products. You may wish to purchase absorbent products that are able to absorb urine leakages.

  • Surgery. If other treatments do not work, your doctor may recommend surgery to treat the problems that caus​e urinary incontinence.

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