What is it?
Urinary (yer-ih-nair-e) incontinence (in-kon-tih-nens) is not being able to control when and where you urinate. People often call this "having an accident," "wetting yourself,". Urinary Incontinence is not a normal part of aging as many people believe. It is a condition that can be treated, cured, or at least improved.
Over 17 million adults in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence. It affects both men and women. The prevalence increases with age
Many people are so embarrassed about having Urinary Incontinence that they won't talk to their doctor. But, Urinary Incontinence can be treated if caregivers know about your problems.
There are different types of urinary incontinence
STRESS: involuntary loss of urine during physical activity- cough, sneeze, lifting, exercise, daily activity
URGE: sudden onset of the strong desire to urinate
MIXED: combination of STRESS and URGE incontinence
OVERFLOW / ENURESIS: involuntary loss of urine without any associated urege to urinate or physical activity. For example- wetting the bed while sleeping.
MEDICATIONS - these medications (Vesicare, Detrol, Enablex, Sanctura, Ditropan, Tofranil, Oxytrol) relax the bladder to stop bladder spasms and frequent urges to urinate
NEUROMODULATION - INTERSTIM
KEGEL EXERCISE - help the bladder muscle relax
DIET MODIFICATION - elimination of bladder irritants: caffeine
Surgery may treat both problems.
Medication & Surgery
OVERFLOW / ENURESIS:
Tests: You may need one or more of the following tests to with planning your treatment:
- Cystoscopy (sis-toss-kuh-p): The cystoscope is a long tube with a light on the end. It is put in your urethra and guided into your bladder. The scope may be hooked to a camera so you and your doctor can see inside of your bladder and urethra on a TV monitor. The scope may be used to take a tissue sample for tests.
- Physical exam: Your caregiver will examine you and ask you questions about your current and past health and urinary habits.
- Post-void residual: A small soft tube is put into the bladder or ultrasound is used to measure how much urine is left in the bladder after urinating.
- Voiding Diary: Caregivers may give you a record to keep track of when you urinate and when you are incontinent.
- Urine tests: Your urine is examined to look for signs of infection, blood, or other problems.
- Urodynamic (yer-o-di-na-mik) testing: This study helps evaluate the function of the bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles.
* The bladder is a hollow organ that holds urine. The kidneys produce urine and send it to the bladder thru two tubes ( the left and right ureters) As urine collects in the bladder, the bladder enlarges like a balloon. When the bladder reaches a certain level of fullness it triggers your urge to void. Normally you are able to suppress this urge until you can reach the bathroom. When you are ready to urinate, the urine travels from the bladder through the urethra. The urethra is a small tube that goes from the bladder to the outside of the body.