Women suffer from urinary incontinence (UI) more frequently than men although it affects both genders. It is estimated that 10% of all women under 65 suffer from incontinence; over 65, the number jumps to nearly 40%. As embarrassing as it can be, urinary incontinence is quite common and there are many treatment options available.
The most common forms of UI are stress incontinence and urge incontinence, also known as an overactive bladder. Stress incontinence is caused by weak pelvic floor or sphincter muscles. An overactive bladder involves an uncontrollable and sudden urge to urinate. If you leak urine when you first feel the urge to urinate, or with a coughing spell, you are experiencing incontinence. The extent of the incontinence ranges from minor urine leakage to full-blown disasters when you just can’t make it to the bathroom in time. Many people suffer small leaks while others lose complete control over their bladder.
Diagnosis & Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence can occur due to numerous factors and it is often attributed to aging. The challenge of treating UI is identifying its underlying cause.
Your urologist will conduct a physical exam accompanied by gentle palpitation near the bladder, which can help narrow down physical causes of the incontinence. Urine and blood samples may reveal the presence of incontinence-causing conditions like kidney stones or metabolic imbalances. Also, keeping a urination diary that details both accidents and successes with dates, times, and quantity of urine can assist a urologist with diagnosing cause and severity of the condition.
Many factors contribute to UI in women. This includes pregnancy, which weakens pelvic muscles and may damage bladder nerves and supportive tissues. Aging, menopause, and even a hysterectomy can all play a role in leading to female incontinence.
Neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, brain tumor, or spinal injury can interfere with nerve signals that control the bladder and result in incontinence.
Your Urologist Is Your Friend
Urologists are trained to deal with issues of urinary incontinence. There is no reason to be embarrassed or suffer in silence – especially when the condition is usually simple to treat.
If you or a loved one is experiencing these issues, get help now. Visit Dr. L. Dean Knoll of Knoll Urology, a world-renowned urologist in Nashville, Tennessee, who sees patients from all around the world to assist them with their urological disorders. Call (615) 250-9200 or request an appointment now and take back control of your life.