What is urinary incontinence?
If you lose a few drops of urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough, or exercise, you may be suffering from urinary incontinence. You may also feel a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. You may even have both symptoms. Also, urinary incontinence can cause discomfort and can even impair daily activities because you may fear embarrassing situations so you stop yourself from enjoying many activities including sex.
How common is urinary incontinence?
About 1 in 3 women experience urinary incontinence. There are several factors that play a role in this. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract are some of them. Additionally, some women can suffer from this condition due to obesity, neurological injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems associated with aging.
Older women experience urinary incontinence more often than younger women. But despite this being a common problem among older women – it is a medical problem that can be treated. You should not feel that this is something you must accept as a natural part of growing old. Although no single treatment works for everyone, many women find improvement without surgery.
Why does urinary incontinence occur?
When you urinate, the muscles in the wall of the bladder contract and force urine out of the bladder and into the urethra. The sphincter muscles surrounding the urethra relax and let urine pass out of the body. Incontinence occurs when there is sudden pressure on the bladder (caused by coughing, laughing, jumping, etc.) and the sphincter muscles or urethral support is unable to keep the urine, or when there is a sudden contraction of the bladder muscles and the sphincter mechanism is unable to hold back urine. Urine may escape with less pressure than usual if the muscles are damaged, causing a change in the position of the bladder. Being overweight, which is associated with increased abdominal pressure, can worsen incontinence.