What Is Urinary Incontinence Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Urinary incontinence , the involuntary loss of urine, is a very common condition that no one wants to talk about. Because of the stigma that surrounds it, many people are too humiliated to seek help. But most conditions that cause UI can be corrected with medical or alternative interventions.
Occurring much more often in women than men, UI happens when the muscles in the bladder that control the flow of urine contract or relax involuntarily, resulting in leaks or uncontrolled urination. UI itself is not a disease, but it can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue.
Symptoms Of Lack Of Bladder Control In Cats
The first signs of lack of bladder control a cat owner will notice are puddles of urine on the carpet, furniture and around the home. A pet owner may first believe lack of bladder control to be a behavioral problem, known as periuria . Periuria is a feline behavioral disorder that the cat controls, whereas urinary incontinence is uncontrollable, with symptoms including:
- Wet fur surrounding the vulva or penis
- Rash or inflamed skin around the external urinary organs
- Damp fur along the felines underbelly and legs
- Involuntary dribbling of urine
There are several types of lack of bladder control in cats.
Lack of bladder control is caused by an obstruction of the urethra, preventing urine to be voided from the body. Paradoxical incontinence is commonly caused by bladder stones and reflex dyssynergia.
Lack of bladder control is caused by impaired muscle function and a disorder of the lower bladder neurons. The bladder literally overflows with urine because the neurons fail to signal the brain and pressure in the bladder becomes too great for the sphincter muscle. Overflow incontinence is usually caused by neurological problems or illness.
Urethral Sphincter Incompetence
Botulinum Toxin A Injections
Botulinum toxin A can be injected into the sides of your bladder to treat urge incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome .
This medication can sometimes help relieve these problems by relaxing your bladder. This effect can last for several months and the injections can be repeated if they help.
Although the symptoms of incontinence may improve after the injections, you may find it difficult to fully empty your bladder. If this happens, you will need to be taught how to insert a catheter into your urethra to drain the urine from your bladder.
Botulinum toxin A is not currently licensed to treat urge incontinence or OAB, so you should be made aware of any risks before deciding to have the treatment. The long-term effects of this treatment are not yet known.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Incontinence In Dogs
The main symptom of incontinence in dogs is the most obvious one, which is the dogs inability to control their urination.
If you notice that they leak a bit of urine in unusual places, like where they sit or lay down, or if you see a trail of wet spots left behind wherever they walk, then this means that your pooch is struggling when it comes to controlling their urination.
This dripping of urine could also cause your poochs skin to become irritated and turn red. If you notice that your dog is excessively licking their private areas, whether it is their penis or their vulva, then that is yet another sign that they might be incontinent.
What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
The following are common symptoms of urinary incontinence. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Needing to rush to the restroom and/or losing urine if you do not get to the restroom in time
Urine leakage with movements or exercise
Leakage of urine that prevents activities
Urine leakage with coughing, sneezing or laughing
Leakage of urine that began or continued after surgery
Leakage of urine that causes embarrassment
Constant feeling of wetness without sensation of urine leakage
Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
The symptoms of urinary incontinence may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
7 Things You Should Always Discuss with Your Gynecologist
When it comes to sexual and reproductive health, it can be hard to know whats normal and what may be a sign of a potential health problem. Even if you feel embarrassed about certain issues, your gynecologist has seen and heard it all and is there to help you, not to pass judgment.
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Is Incontinence A Reason To Euthanize A Dog Down
Unfortunately, incontinence is one of the major reasons why dog owners euthanize their dogs. However, the majority of the time, the causes of incontinence in dogs and older dogs are not severe and life-threatening.
For example, the cause of incontinence in dogs most of the time is often related to spinal issues, which are usually not life-threatening. Thus, a dog should not be euthanized just because their presence is no longer convenient.
It is also important to note that sometimes, the cause of incontinence in older dogs and dogs, in general, could be something that is more serious.
I just find it mind-boggling how dog owners forget that we humans sometimes experience the same thing when we become older. When that happens, family and friends do not just abandon us .
So why are we okay with euthanizing our four-legged best friends for our convince when this is not even strongly affecting a dogs quality of life?
These loyal creatures have been there for us, so why not work a bit harder to treat and manage their incontinence as long as they still have a decent quality of life?
My Experience With Loss Of Bladder Control
I know first hand what it feels like the first time your shortness of breath causes you to lose control of your bladder in public. In my early years with COPD I was like many of you who are new to COPD are: unaware incontinence is a consequence of having severe COPD. I will never forget how embarrassed and ashamed I felt at the checkout counter in Walmart, and the look on the faces of the people around me. I was so SOB, I was already the object of everyone’s stares, and losing control of my bladder and standing in a puddle of my own urine, my pants soaked made me want to die.
Read Also: I Feel A Lot Of Pressure On My Bladder
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What type of urinary incontinence do I have?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary incontinence? Can this condition be treated?
- If so, will treating the condition cure my urinary incontinence? When can I expect relief from my symptoms?
- Should I start doing Kegel exercises? How often?
- Would a bladder training program help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Will any lifestyle changes help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Im embarrassed by my urinary incontinence. Until my symptoms improve, what else can I do to help manage my condition?
Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Your posterior tibial nerve runs down your leg to your ankle. It contains nerve fibres that start from the same place as nerves that run to your bladder and pelvic floor. It is thought that stimulating the tibial nerve will affect these other nerves and help control bladder symptoms, such as the urge to pass urine.
During the procedure, a very thin needle is inserted through the skin of your ankle and a mild electric current is sent through it, causing a tingling feeling and causing your foot to move. You may need 12 sessions of stimulation, each lasting around half an hour, one week apart.
Some studies have shown that this treatment can offer relief from OAB and urge incontinence for some people, although there is not yet enough evidence to recommend tibial nerve stimulation as a routine treatment.
Tibial nerve stimulation is only recommended in a few cases where urge incontinence has not improved with medication and you don’t want to have botulinum toxin A injections or sacral nerve stimulation.
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How I Manage Incontinence And Bladder Control
What many refer to sarcastically as adult diapers became, and to this day are, one of my best friends. I wear adult underwear any time I step foot out my front door, and if I’m having a bad day in my house too. I don’t want any mishap on my furniture, or when my family or friend are visiting. When you have end-stage COPD incontinence becomes a regular occurrence. Whenever I go out I not only wear protective underwear, I also carry an extra pair and some feminine wipes with me. I keep them in a small zippered bag, if I lose control and pee my pants, as soon as I can I go to a restroom, clean up, and I’m good to go again. The best part is no one knows what has occurred but me, no embarrassment, no weird looks. I know a lot of people refuse to wear adult underwear, they feel there is a stigma attached. In their minds wearing adult underwear is undignified, unmanly or un-womanly. Don’t become one of them, there are all types of products for dealing with incontinence.
Editors Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on March 2, 2018, Mary Ultes passed away. Mary was an engaged advocate for the COPD community who strived to help people live fulfilling lives. She is deeply missed.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
For people with urinary incontinence, it is important to consult a health care provider. In many cases, patients will then be referred to an urogynecologist or urologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract. Urinary incontinence is diagnosed with a complete physical examination that focuses on the urinary and nervous systems, reproductive organs, and urine samples.
How To Treat Loss Of Bladder Control
In many cases, the treatments for urinary incontinence are surprisingly simple but dont try to self-diagnose. The diagnosis part is complex. Urinary incontinence is usually an outcome of a problem somewhere else in the body not directly associated with the bladder. There are many different types of urinary incontinence, too, each with its specific treatment.
You need a professional. The wrong treatment could cause more problems, so it is essential to see your MD or a Physical Therapist if youre struggling to control your bladder.
What To Do About It
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your problem. They will consider your symptoms and then help create a plan of action. Some of the treatment options for loss of bladder and bowel control may include the following:
When other treatments do not produce desired results, you may consider undergoing surgery. Your doctor tries to repair any damage to the nerves and muscles to prevent loss of bladder and bowel control.
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When To Seek Medical Help
Any instance of incontinence is reason to seek medical help. It may be a symptom of a more serious condition that needs to be treated.
Even if the underlying cause isnt serious, incontinence can be a major disruption in your life. Its important to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.
In some cases, incontinence is a sign of a medical emergency.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you lose control of your bladder and experience any of the following symptoms:
- trouble speaking or walking
What Is Neurogenic Bladder
Alzheimers diseaseNeurogenic bladder is a bladder dysfunction caused by damage to the bodys nervous system. Typically, the muscles and nerves of the urinary system work together to carry messages from the brain to the bladder.
When communications break downbecause of a physical injury to the nervous system or other impairmentit can result in a loss of bladder control and problems such as kidney or bladder stones, leaking or incontinence.
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Medication For Stress Incontinence
If stress incontinence does not significantly improve, surgery for urinary incontinence will often be recommended as the next step.
However, if you are unsuitable for surgery or you want to avoid having an operation, you may benefit from a medication called duloxetine. This can help increase the muscle tone of the urethra, which should help keep it closed.
You will need to take duloxetine by mouth twice a day and will be assessed after two to four weeks to see if the medicine is beneficial or if it is causing any side effects.
Possible side effects of duloxetine can include:
Do not suddenly stop taking duloxetine as this can also cause unpleasant effects. Your GP will reduce your dose gradually.
Duloxetine is not suitable for everyone, however, so your GP will discuss any other medical conditions you have to determine if you can take it.
What Is Wrong With My Bladder
Living with a weak bladder is inconvenient and distressing. If you are continuously leaking urine when you do things like laugh, cough, jump, or sneeze, or you cant seem to control your urine flow, you dont have to live with it.
Urinary incontinence is a widespread problem. Women suffer from it at all ages most likely after childbirth or during perimenopause and menopause. But it can happen at any age and when you havent had children.
Its certainly not limited to women from retirement age and onwards. This assumption is a common misconception.
But the good news is we can treat it at any age. You dont have to suffer in silence.
There are medical reasons for your loss of bladder control. Heres a clear, simple explanation for why you cant control your bladder and the range of treatments available.
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How Is Loss Of Bladder Control Treated
Non-surgical treatments are often recommended to help treat bladder control issues. These include:
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Reducing intake of alcohol and caffeine
- Electrical stimulation of the nerves that control the bladder
- Bladder retraining by going to the bathroom at set times
- Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles
- Bladder control device inserted into vagina that repositions urethra to reduce leakage
- Biofeedback to help patients learn to control the bladder muscles
Depending on the type of leakage and how bothersome it isand if patients do not respond to the non-surgical treatmentssurgery and other interventions can be very successful. In most cases, they can be done as an outpatient procedure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/26/2015.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles you use to control the flow of urine as you urinate. They surround the bladder and urethra .
Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary incontinence, so exercising these muscles is often recommended.
Your GP may refer you to a specialist to start a programme of pelvic floor muscle training.
Your specialist will assess whether you are able to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and by how much. If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles, you will be given an individual exercise programme based on your assessment.
Your programme should include doing a minimum of eight muscle contractions at least three times a day and doing the recommended exercises for at least three months. If the exercises are helping after this time, you can keep on doing them.
Research suggests that women who complete pelvic floor muscle training experience fewer leaking episodes and report a better quality of life.
In men, some studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle training can reduce urinary incontinence particularly after surgery to remove the prostate gland.
For more information:
- Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecology Physiotherapy : The Pelvic Floor Mucles – a Guide for Women
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Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence
No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.
Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.
After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12
What Are Some Medications For Incontinence In Dogs
As with any disease, the treatment for your dogs incontinence is going to depend on what is causing this issue. Sometimes, medication can aid in effectively managing incontinence as well as preventing daily accidents.
Some dogs are put on hormonal therapy, while others take phenylpropanolamine to control the flow of the urine. This drug works by strengthing the urethral sphincter. Sometimes, surgical intervention is required if medications are not sufficient on their own.
Incontinence causes where surgical intervention is recommended include the following:
A newer therapy for incontinence that seems to have promising results is collagen injections.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence
The following factors may put you at higher risk for developing UI.
Being female Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.
Advancing age As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.
Excess body fat Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise or when coughing or sneezing.
Other chronic diseases Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence
Smoking A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.
High-impact sports While sports don’t cause incontinence, running, jumping, and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sports activities.