What is Urinary incontinence? : Treatment, causes, types, and symptoms

Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control one’s bladder is a prevalent and awkward concern. The intensity might range from sometimes spilling pee while you are sneezing or coughing to getting a sudden and severe urge to urinate that prevents you from reaching a toilet in time.

Urinary incontinence is not a natural part of aging, however, it does become more common as people become older. If urine incontinence is interfering with your everyday activities, visit your doctor. Signs of urine incontinence can usually be treated with easy positive lifestyle adjustments, as well as medical attention.

Urinary incontinence is a widespread condition that affects a large number of people. The muscles that protect your bladder degenerate as you become older, which can result in urine incontinence. The illness can also be caused by a variety of health issues. Cancer, kidney stones, infection, or an enlarged prostate can all cause symptoms that vary in severity.

Women are much more likely than men to experience urinary incontinence. It is estimated that 30% of females between the ages of 30 and 60 have it, while only 1.5-5 percent of men get it. Urinary incontinence in females can be exacerbated by pregnancy, delivery, and menopause. Urinary incontinence in females can be caused by weak bladder muscles, hyperactive bladder muscles, or nerve injury.

In comparison to men, women are more susceptible to urine incontinence due to a variety of health issues. Controlling urine relies heavily on the pelvic floor muscles. Furthermore, pregnancy and childbirth can cause injury to the pelvic floor muscles. Urinary incontinence may result as a result of this. Urinary incontinence can also be induced by menopause, which is a disorder that affects only women. The level of estrogen drops after menopause, causing the muscular wall of the bladder and urethra to deteriorate. Urination control is impaired as a result of this.

Urinary incontinence is also caused by anatomical differences in women compared to men. Women, for example, have a shorter urethra, which renders them more susceptible to urine incontinence.

What is urinary incontinence?

There is urine flow as a result of a lack of bladder control. Urinary incontinence is the term for this type of leaking. Urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder muscle contracts unexpectedly as a result of the pressure caused by coughing, screaming, or jogging, and the urethral sphincter muscles are unable to tolerate the strain, producing urine leakage. When compared to younger people, urinary incontinence is more common in the elderly.

Types of Urinary incontinence

  • Urge incontinence is a condition in which persons have a strong desire to urinate yet are unable to keep the urine. This causes urine to flow or spill involuntarily. Diabetes or neurodegenerative disorders could be the cause of the problem.
  • Stress incontinence develops when the bladder muscles are overworked as a result of exercise, laughter, carrying heavy things, coughing, or sneezing, and pee leaks. Women in their forties and fifties are particularly susceptible.
  • Functional incontinence occurs when a patient’s bladder functioning is adequate but he or she is unable to go to the bathroom promptly. This could be related to a physical condition like arthritis or a mental illness like Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Overflow incontinence When an individual has a substantial amount of post-void residual pee, a little number of urine dribbles. This syndrome is caused by an enlarged prostate or a spinal injury that causes inadequate bladder outflow.
  • Mixed incontinence: The individual may have more than one type of urine incontinence in certain situations.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

  • Having no control over when you pass urine
  • Urinating often throughout the day and night
  • Peeing on the spur of the moment
  • Have a strong urge to urinate that you can’t control?
  • Urge incontinence is the involuntary leakage of pee that occurs as a result of an urgent need to urinate.
  • Urinate regularly, usually eight times or more in 24 hours.
  • Urinate two or more times during the night (nocturia)
  • Although you may be able to go to the toilet in time when you feel the need to urinate, frequent urination and urine at night might cause major disruptions in your life.

You might be hesitant to talk to your doctor about incontinence. However, if incontinence is bothering you or compromising your standard of living, you should seek medical help since urinary incontinence can cause:

  • You restrict your activities and social connections as a result of this.
  • Hurt your quality of life
  • As they race to the bathroom, older folks are more likely to collapse.
  • This could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Cause of Urine Incontinence

Urge incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, each of which leads to a particular set of symptoms and treatment choices. As a result, it’s critical to work with your doctor to figure out what the underlying problem is. Inadequate pelvic muscles or stress incontinence will aggravate any of the below.

Stones or Bladder Infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder infections, and bladder or kidney stones can all cause short-term urge incontinence. It will typically go away once these diseases are treated, which will necessitate a trip to the doctor.

An Excessively Active Bladder 

An overactive bladder can also induce involuntary urine loss, albeit this does not always result in urinary incontinence and is not regarded as a disease in and of itself. The valves in your bladder can become overactive, resulting in an overactive bladder.

Nervous System Disorders

Urge urine incontinence isn’t always just a bladder issue; it can also indicate a problem with the way your brain and bladder communicate. It’s possible to get erroneous signals that the bladder is bloated and requires to be emptied.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including daily behaviors, underlying medical diseases, and physical issues. Your doctor can perform a comprehensive examination to establish the cause of your incontinence.


Vaginal delivery can impair bladder control muscles and injure bladder nerves and supporting tissue, resulting in a pelvic floor that has fallen (prolapsed). Prolapse occurs when the bladder, uterus, rectum, or small intestine are forced down and protrude into the vaginal canal. Incontinence may be linked to such protrusions

Changes as you become older.

 The bladder’s capacity to hold urine might be reduced as the bladder muscle ages. In addition, as you become older, involuntary bladder contractions become more common.


Women produce less estrogen after menopause, a hormone that regulates keep the bladder and urethra linings healthy. Incontinence can be made worse if these tissues deteriorate.

Prostate enlargement.

Incontinence is frequently caused by enlargement of the prostate gland in elderly men, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Prostate cancer 

Stress incontinence and urge incontinence in men have been linked to untreated prostate cancer. Incontinence is more typically a consequence of prostate cancer therapies.


Overflow incontinence can result from a tumor anywhere along your urinary system blocking the normal flow of pee. Urinary stones, which are hard, stone-like masses that grow in the bladder, can cause urine leakage in some people.

Complications of Urine incontinence

Reduced quality of life: Urinary incontinence influences the patient’s social, professional, and personal lives. Laughter, sneezing, and coughing are all avoided by the sufferer. It can occasionally result in humiliating circumstances.

Urine tract infection: Patients with urinary incontinence are more likely to get recurring urinary tract infections. Catheters can potentially cause urinary tract infections if used for an extended length of time.

Patients with urine incontinence are more likely to develop skin ulcers, infections such as fungal infections, and rashes. Wound healing is also slowed in these people.

Obesity places additional strain on the bladder and surrounding muscles. It weakens the muscles, increasing the likelihood of leaking when the person coughs or sneezes.

Smoking: This might cause a chronic cough, which can lead to incontinence episodes.

Women are more likely than males to experience stress incontinence, especially if they have had children.

The muscles in the bladder and urethra weaken as we become older.

Diabetes, kidney disease, spinal cord damage, and neurologic diseases such as stroke, for example, all raise the risk.

Diagnosis of Urine incontinence

Your healthcare provider may prescribe additional tests based on your symptoms and medical history, such as:

  • Physical Exam: The specialist can inspect the vaginal area and assess the pelvic muscles stronger. They can inspect a male patient’s rectum to see if the prostate gland is enlarged.
  • Urinalysis: This test looks for evidence of infection and abnormalities in the urine.
  • A blood test can be used to determine kidney function.
  • PVR (post-void residual measurement) is a test that determines how much urine is left in the bladder after urinating.
  • Ultrasound of the pelvis provides a picture and can aid in the detection of any abnormalities.
  • The patient will be asked to exert rapid pressure as the doctor examines for urine leaks during the stress test.
  • The bladder and urine sphincter’s ability to endure pressure is determined via a urodynamic test.
  • An x-ray method is used to provide an image of the bladder.
  • An x-ray process is used to create an image of the bladder, which is referred to as a cystogram.
  • Cystoscopy is performed by inserting a thin tube into the urethra with a lens on the end. Any irregularities in the urinary system are visible to the clinician.

Treatment of Urine incontinence

  • Behavior Modification Therapy (BMT): Your healthcare physician may provide approaches for you to try. Limiting the quantity of fluid you consume, avoiding coffee, and attempting to hold your urine longer are some of these options.
  • Exercises or Physical Therapy: Improve the pelvic muscles, a set of muscles that aid in the management of urine flow.
  • Vaginal Insert (obligatory): These detachable vaginal inserts, which support the urethra, can help reduce stress incontinence
  • Medications: Certain medications inhibit chemical communication in the nerves around the bladder, allowing the bladder muscles to relax and expand their capacity.
  • Medication Injections: Certain drugs can thicken the urethral wall, making it more firmly seal and preventing urine leakage.
  • Botox injections could relax hyperactive bladder muscles in females who haven’t had success with previous treatments. The advantages can persist for months. The injections may have to be repeated once or twice a year.
  • InterStim Therapy involves implanting a small device the diameter of a stopwatch underneath the skin of the hip. It sends low-voltage electrical impulses to the nerve that controls the bladder muscles.
  • Sling Procedures: A sling composed of synthetic or natural material is placed around the urethra to cushion it and avoid stress incontinence throughout this microsurgery.

Tips for maintaining the health of your bladder

  • Never keep the pee in your bladder for too long it can harm the nerves that send a signal to your brain telling you when it’s time to go.
  • To avoid repeat UTIs, stay hydrated to assist your body remove the toxins and bacteria.
  • Kegel exercises should be done. To keep bladder control, compressing and releasing the pelvic floor muscles is necessary.
  • Smoking irritates the bladder, so give it up.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Exercise your pelvic floor.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, and acidic foods are all bladder irritants to avoid.
  • Consume more fiber to avoid constipation, which is a common cause of urine incontinence.
  • Don’t smoke or get help quitting if you do.
  • Carry out exercises
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • To clean yourself, use a washcloth.
  • Allow your skin to dry naturally.
  • In your bedroom, keep a bedside dresser.
  • Install a toilet seat that is higher than the rest of the toilet.
  • Be ready: Patients must always be ready for unexpected urges of urine leakage by carrying wipes, absorbents, and a change of clothes.