Stress incontinence is the most general type of urinary disorder. According to a survey, approximately three million people in the UK are constantly incontinent. Overall, it has been found that about 4 in 100 adults experience frequent stress incontinence. Studies show that this physical disorder is more commonly found in women than in men; also, it has been estimated that 1 person in 5, who is over the age of 40 face some type of stress incontinence. Stress incontinence involves loss of urine when one puts pressure or stress on his or her bladder during several physical activities, like laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercise.
Stress incontinence is a disorder that affects bladder storage and the capacity of the muscles, which help control urination. In such cases, the sphincter muscles are unable to stop urine flow when the stress is increased from the abdomen. The ability to maintain continence and control urine depends on the normal activities of the kidneys, lower urinary tract and the nervous system. Stress incontinence can also occur due to the malfunction of the urethral sphincter. There are many things that can lead to weakened pelvic muscles in a person, such as neurological damage, prior damage to the urethral area, some medicines, or surgery of the pelvic area or prostate.
This physical disorder is often noticed in women who have had many vaginal childbirths and pregnancies, and whose urethra, rectal wall or bladder stick out into the vaginal area. Some of risk factors for stress incontinence involve:
- chronic coughing
- being female
- getting older
If you or someone from your family is suffering from this disorder, it is advisable to seek immediate treatment for it. If you go to the nearest health care provider, he or she will do a physical checking, including a genital checking in men, a rectal checking, and a pelvic checking in women. Other tests involve measuring the difference in the angle of the urethra when straining or at rest. If there is an angle change of more than 30 degrees, it means there is major weakness of the muscles and tissues, which support the bladder.
Several types of treatments are available for the stress incontinence, but they depend on the harshness of the symptoms as well as how much they deal with a person’s daily life. As basic treatment, your doctor will ask you to stop smoking if you are addicted to it. If you take alcohol or caffeinated beverages like soda, the doctor will also ask you stop taking it. Patients suffering from this problem are often asked to keep a urinary record that will include how many times a patient urinates during the day and night as well as how many times the urinary leakage happens. Some major types of treatments for stress incontinence are surgery, medicines, pelvic floor muscle training and behavioral training.
The behavioral changes include decreasing the quantity of the fluids that a patient drinks during a day. The pelvic muscle training exercises will help control the urine leakage; however medicines are considered to work better with sufferers who have mild stress incontinence.