Urinary incontinence

Problem

Urinary incontinence is a disorder affecting both sexes, although it is twice as common in women than in men. It is a chronic disease that can be treated effectively.

Symptoms

The problem of urinary incontinence usually starts after the age of 45-50. At that time, especially in women, sex hormone levels begin to drop. There are three types of urinary incontinence.

  • Exertional urinary incontinence – with this type of disorder portions of urine are lost during physical exercise, lifting heavy objects, or reactions such as coughing or sneezing. Obesity, pregnancy, postpartum period, menopause, urinary tract infections, chronic cough, smoking, and severe physical exertion facilitate development of this disorder.
  • Urge incontinence – evoked by strong pressure on urinary bladder and urethra. It cannot be anticipated or controlled. The cause of this problem is oversensitive, contracting bladder due to abnormalities of nerve control over physiological functions: systemic diseases, e.g. diabetes, as well as recurrent infections, senile dementia, or multiple sclerosis.
  • Overflow incontinence – urine is lost in small portions. It is a result of stretching of bladder walls secondary to overfilling.

Treatment

Problems holding urine may be approached in two ways. Conservative treatment involves administration of medicines that are intended to improve bladder function. Change of drinking habits – limiting ingestion of diuretic fluids, e.g. coffee, is essential. Exercise and physiotherapy of abdominal and pelvic muscles are also important – after strengthening, they improve bladder control. There are also treatments to stimulate these muscles using special equipment.

Very severe urinary incontinence can be treated surgically. Currently, a procedure involving implantation of a synthetic tape underneath the urethra can be performed. With time, it overgrows with tissue and stimulates local collagen production. This type of surgery is performed transvaginally. If urinary incontinence is caused by e.g. fibromas – surgery is necessary.

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50-224 Wrocław
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