What are some simple, effective options for managing urinary incontinence?
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Urinary incontinence is more common in women, and this could also be associated with changes in the pelvic floor with pregnancy and childbirth. There are, however, simple exercises that can be taught which can help in relieving this condition. Kegel exercises, which can be done anywhere are highly effective in strengthening the pelvic floor. The affected individual should also practice going to the toilet at regular intervals (maybe every 1.5 hours to 2 hours) so that the bladder constantly is maintained empty. If there is a meeting or gathering where it may be difficult to access the toilet, do not hesitate to use an adult diaper.
Urinary incontinence is a recurrent problem
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There is no reversal unless surgical corrections are being done. However, this can be managed with a combination of diet changes, fluid intake adjustments, mechanical methods, and some medications too. Surgery would be the last resort, and usually not required in 90% of the affected population. Try treatment measures gradually to get over the problem of UI, as most people adapt to the new lifestyle and manage quite well.
What are the most common reasons for bladder incontinence?
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While increased water consumption definitely leads to more trips to the toilet, there is no leakage there. However, with age, weakness of the muscles controlling urination and incontinence ensues in almost all individuals. The individual has a strong urge to urinate, and there is never a feeling of having emptied the bladder completely. This can happen at night also, and sometimes the person may fear to go to sleep, to avoid urinating in bed. This is an embarrassing situation, and not many will admit the problem. Getting them to talk about it and being helpful when possible is essential.
People with urinary incontinence have to undergo surgery for definitive cure
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There are various measures which have been proven to be effective. These include diet/fluid intake changes, as alcohol and spicy foods are known to worsen UI. The person is trained to maintain a bladder diary, do toilet trips even if no urge to urinate, and sometimes do double visits to ensure complete emptying. Exercises are taught to strengthen the pelvic floor. Mechanical methods including pessary and urethral inserts are also used to prevent spillage. Surgery is not required for most people, as it can be managed via various other modes.
What are some risk factors for urinary incontinence (UI)?
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While urinary incontinence is a common problem with age, women are more prone to develop it given their pelvic floor structure. With pregnancy and childbirth, there is bound to be weakening of the floor, leading to UI. Multiple childbirths increases this risk further. In addition, increased weight further adds to the pressure on the bladder, further increasing the risk. Weight management is essential for various health reasons, preventing and treating UI is also one of them.