What is Urinary Incontinence?
Incontinence affects twice as many women as men, which is believed to be due to pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. The good news is that urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging, and it can be treated.
Four types of Urinary Incontinence
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
- Bladder leakage that occurs when you put pressure on the muscles around your bladder, like when you cough, laugh, sneeze, lift something or exercise
- Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI)
- Bladder leakage that happens in conjunction with a sudden, strong or frequent urge to urinate
- Mixed Incontinence (both SUI and UUI)
- Some people leak urine with activity (SUI) and often feel the urge to urinate (UUI). This is mixed incontinence.
- Overflow Incontinence
- With overflow incontinence, the body makes more urine than the bladder can hold or the bladder is full and cannot empty thereby causing it to leak urine.
- You can help prevent urinary incontinence by keeping your bladder healthy with lifestyle changes.
- Avoid food and drinks that seem to increase your symptoms such as caffeine and acidic foods (alcohol, tomatoes, citrus)
- Keep hydrated to avoid your urine getting too concentrated, which can irritate your bladder
- Schedule regular bathroom visits with the goal of gradually increasing the length of time between trips
- Eat more fiber and avoid straining during bowel movements.
- Quit smoking. Persistent coughing from smoking can stress pelvic floor muscles.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity puts extra pressure on your bladder and can make incontinence worse.