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Urinary Incontinence Treatments for Women

By Jennifer B. Buckley

(Page 1 of 3)

For some people, urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing and emotional disorder that can eventually lead to social isolation or depression. There are over 11 million Americans living with incontinence and women comprise 85% of that statistic. Women living with incontinence often find themselves scouting out the nearest restroom for fear of having an accident in public or avoiding social engagements because they feel anxiety about odor or appearance problems, even with a protective under garment. If a woman is diagnosed with urinary incontinence, it doesnít necessarily mean that her overall health is failing or she is just aging. In fact, the disorder is not limited to older women and through proper treatment; incontinence in women can be controllable and sometimes reversible.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control symptomatic of an underlying problem, but itís not a disease. It may be caused due to structural damage to a womanís lower urinary tract, (bladder or urethra) from pregnancy or a urinary tract infection, or nerve damage to her central nervous system. There are three types of urinary incontinence; stress, genuine stress and urge incontinence, and a woman could have one, two or all three types.

Stress incontinence occurs when women leak urine resulting from coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or intercourse. This form of incontinence effects about half of the women living with incontinence and it may prevent women form engaging in their normal physical activities because they are fearful of increased problems during exercise.

Genuine stress incontinence is the leaking of urine during increased abdominal pressure even without bladder contractions. It is the most prevalent form of urinary incontinence among women. The second most common form is detrusor instability, or urge incontinence.

Urge incontinence is associated with a heightened urgency and frequency of urination. Most of the women diagnosed with this form of urinary incontinence, feel the urge to urinate but rarely make it into the restroom in time. Women with this type of incontinence appear to have involuntary or uncontrollable bladder contractions, even in the absence of damage to their lower pelvic nerve. There are non-surgical and surgical treatment options for all three forms of urinary incontinence.


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