Despite some of the common myths about aging, incontinence is not inevitable. Learn more here about what incontinence is and what you can do about it.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is the involuntary release of urine. Another common term is the loss of bladder control. The release can be as little as leakage with coughing or a full wetting accident. Incontinence can occur at any age although it is more common with aging. There are four primary types of incontinence. They are:
- Stress incontinence – leakage and accidents with coughing, exertion (such as lifting), or sneezing.
- Overflow incontinence – the bladder fills but does not empty completely, leading to leakage.
- Urge incontinence – as the name suggests, there is a strong, sudden urge to urinate. This is caused by bladder contractions and often leads to the involuntary release of urine or wetting accidents.
- Mixed incontinence – this type of incontinence combines symptoms, so you may have both stress and urge incontinence.
Incontinence is treatable
Although incontinence has become more common, it is not inevitable. Contributing factors include traumatic injury, neurological disorders, diabetes, obesity, smoking and prostate problems. It is important to talk with your health care provider when you notice symptoms. Although talking about incontinence can feel embarrassing, not talking about it can create unnecessary stress. Your healthcare provider can help you explore management and treatment options that reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Your incontinence management plan will depend on the cause of the problem. Overflow incontinence often results from an enlarged prostate. In many cases, the problem can be resolved by treating the prostate. Strengthening the pelvic floor with Kegel exercise can relieve some of the symptoms of stress incontinence. To do Kegels, stop the flow of your urine midstream. This will help you identify the right muscles to contract. At least two times daily, practice contracting the same muscles 10 times. You should notice an improvement in your symptoms within a few weeks. Lifestyle changes can also help. Reduce your intake of bladder irritants, such as citrus or spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Lose weight, manage diabetes and stop smoking if these are contributing factors.
What to do in the meantime
Men’s Liberty offers a safe, reliable option for being active with confidence. Our unique external catheter is skin-friendly and protects you from leaks and accidents at work, on the golf course or wherever life takes you. Talk with your healthcare provider about treatment options and count on Men’s Liberty in the meantime. Men’s Liberty was designed with your freedom and dignity in mind. Call today to learn more.