Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. It has been estimated that over 15 million Americans suffer or have suffered from the unwanted loss of urine. It is a myth that only women are affected, as both men and women can have urinary incontinence. It is also a myth that incontinence is just a part of the normal aging process. This just simply is not true. In fact, many women experience urinary incontinence as a complication after childbirth while men with prostate problems are often affected by urinary incontinence. Many treatment techniques are available, including conservative treatments such as pelvic floor muscle exercises, dietary management and behavioral management techniques. Listed below are the most common types of Urinary Incontinence.
Urinary Stress Incontinence
USI is the involuntary loss of urine during physical exertion or with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, bending or in extreme cases just standing up. Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, trauma from vaginal deliveries or surgeries and years of repetitive straining or coughing may all be contributing factors.
Urinary Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence is the loss of urine associated with a sudden or abrupt urge to void. People with urge incontinence also often have increased urgency causing them to feel like they have to urinate more frequently than normal throughout the day. (Normal daytime voiding is every 3 to 4 hours.)
Mixed Urinary Incontinence
Mixed urinary incontinence includes symptoms of both Stress UI and Urge Urinary Incontinence.
Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
IC, also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome, is bladder condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder or surrounding pelvic region. People with IC often feel like they have a bladder infection without actually testing positive for a bacterial infection. Common symptoms are pelvic pain, pressure or discomfort, urgency and frequency. Both frequency and severity of symptoms vary person to person. It has been estimated that 4 million + people live with PBS. In IC/PBS, the bladder wall may be irritated and become scarred or stiff. Glomerulations— pinpoint bleeding—often appear on the bladder wall. Hunner’s ulcers—patches of broken skin found on the bladder wall—are present in 10 percent of people with IC.
Dysuria is painful or uncomfortable urination, typically a sharp, burning sensation. Some disorders cause a painful ache over the bladder or perineum. Dysuria is an extremely common symptom in women, but it can also occur in men and can occur at any age.
Urinary Retention or Incomplete Emptying
People with this issue have difficulty emptying their bladder. The inability to empty the bladder completely can have many causes, which are generally divided into acute urinary retention and chronic urinary retention. Some causes include impaired bladder contractility, bladder outlet obstruction, detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia (lack of coordination between bladder contraction and sphincter relaxation), or a combination of any of these.
Retention is most common among men, in whom prostate abnormalities or urethral strictures cause outlet obstruction but can also occur in women. In either sex, retention may also be due to drugs (particularly those with anticholinergic effects, including many OTC drugs), severe fecal impaction (which increases pressure on the bladder muscle), or neurogenic bladder in patients with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, or prior pelvic surgery resulting in bladder denervation.
Urinary retention can be asymptomatic or cause urinary frequency, a sense of incomplete emptying, and urge or overflow incontinence. It may cause abdominal distention and pain. When retention develops slowly, pain may be absent. Long-standing retention predisposes people to urinary tract infections and can increase bladder pressure, causing obstructive uropathy.