Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Women and Exercises to Cure the Condition

Urinary incontinence or UI is a condition marked by involuntary urine leakage. The symptoms of UI can range from a mild leakage of urine to inability of holding the urine at all. Urinary incontinence is observed more frequently among elderly individuals and women. Current statistics suggest that millions of US residents are victims of this disorder. Let us first get acquainted with the factors that6 can be responsible for causing IU.

SneezingStress incontinence:
UI occurring as a result of physical movements like laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting something or exercising is referred to as stress incontinence. These movements increase pressure within our abdomen, which in turn presses down the bladder. If the pelvic muscles supporting our bladder are weak due to reasons like surgery, childbirth or age, we will be at risk of experiencing UI.

Overflow incontinence:
When urine leakage occurs from full, overflowing bladders, the condition is referred to as overflow incontinence. This UI type usually takes place when something blocks the flow of our urine; for instance a tumor. Overflow incontinence can also occur as a result of diabetes or as side effect of certain medications. Some medications used for treating coughs, anti-psychotics, antidepressants, beta blockers prescribed as treatment of hypertension and antihistamines are so9me medicines triggering overflow incontinence.

Urge incontinence:
This IU type occurs when urge of urinating appears suddenly and strongly, mostly within only a few minutes or seconds before urination. Urge incontinence usually affects elderly individuals; the main causes of the condition include urinary tract infections or overactive bladder. There are also instances where urge incontinence is triggered by bladder cancer, bladder stones, bladder inflammation or neurological disorders like spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

Functional incontinence:
When urinary incontinence is caused by the patient’s limitation in thinking, moving, communicating or other external factors that stop an individual from reaching the toilet in time, the condition is referred to as functional incontinence. This UI type is the most common variant of the disease found in the older people suffering from conditions like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Anatomic incontinence:
FistulaUrinary incontinence can also be caused by anatomic problems. For instance, patients with fistula (a disease marked by formation of an abnormal connection or opening between our bladder and another body part like skin) often suffer from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence caused by structural problems of the urethra or bladder neck is also categorized as anatomic incontinence.

Transient incontinence:
The other term used for this IU type is temporary incontinence; unlike the above mentioned incontinence types, this one is not a chronic condition. One may develop transient incontinence due to over consumption of alcohol, intake of medications for hypertension and heart problems or use of sedatives and muscle relaxants. Transient incontinence may also occur as a result of dehydration triggered by artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages, tea, coffee and corn syrup. One may also develop this IU type due to excess consumption of food items high in spice or sugar.

Kegel exercisesMajority of the women experience urinary incontinence due to stress. They can be benefited immensely by performing Kegel exercises or exercises involving their pelvic floor muscles. However, for experiencing the difference, you will need to perform Kegels continuously on a regular basis for several weeks; some may also need to perform the exercises for months before experiencing any positive effect. For identifying your pelvic floor muscles, try to stop the urine flow midstream (don’t use the buttock, leg and abdominal muscles); the muscles you are requiring to contract for stopping the urine are your pelvic floor muscles.

Once, you have located the right muscles, start performing the Kegel exercises. The best thing about this exercises is that they can be performed anywhere without allowing anyone around you to know that you are exercising. Contract your pelvic muscles and count 10; relax the muscles and again count 10. Repeat performing the contraction and relaxation cycle for 10-20 times depending on your comfort level. Kegels should be done 3 times every day for enjoying maximum benefits of this exercising technique. If you find it difficult to perform Kegels in a standing position, you can also lie down and then perform the above mentioned steps. Also remember that you should not stop breathing while contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Continue breathing normally as you perform the Kegel exercises.

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