Urinary incontinence (UI), also known as involuntary urination, is any uncontrolled leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem, which may have a large impact on quality of life. It is more common in older women.
The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time.
For most people, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease discomfort or stop urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence in females
Major risk factors:
There are four main types of incontinence:
The causes and the type of incontinence are closely linked.
Pregnancy and childbirth
Menopause, as falling estrogen can make the muscles weaker
Some pelvic surgical procedures
Cystitis (an inflammation of the lining of the bladder)
Anatomical defect from birth
A spinal cord injury which impairs the nerve signals between the brain and the bladder
A fistula, when a tube or channel develops between the bladder and a nearby area
Some medications like diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, sleeping tablets, muscle relaxants and alcohol etc.
Treatment options range from conservative treatment, behavior management, bladder retraining, Exercise, medications and surgery.
The option of treatment depends on the correct diagnoses.
Weight loss is recommended in those who are obese.
Avoiding or limiting consumption of caffeine and alcohol helps a lot.
Behavioral therapy is not curative for urinary incontinence, but it can improve a person's quality of life.
Efforts to increase the time between urination, known as bladder training, is recommended in those with urge incontinence.
Surgery may be used to help stress or overflow incontinence. Common surgical techniques for stress incontinence include slings, tension-free vaginal tape, trans obturator tape (TOT) and bladder suspension among others.
Exercising the muscles of the pelvis such as with Kegel exercises are a first line treatment for women with stress incontinence.
To help your concentration and the efficiency of your movements, make sure you breathe in and out as you perform each set of Kegels, instead of holding your breath.
You can do these exercises either sitting in a chair or lying on the floor.
Once you know what the movement feels like, do Kegel exercises 3 times a day
Make sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Hold tight and count to 8. Relax the muscles and count to 10. Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night).
Pull-in Kegels: To perform a pull-in kegel, think of your pelvic floor muscles as a vacuum. Tense your buttocks and pull your legs up and in. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then release it. Do this 10 times in a row.
If your back or belly ache a bit after you complete a set of Kegel exercises, then it's an indication that you're not doing them correctly.
Some medicinal preperations are useful when taken under proper guidance e.g. Varunadi kashay, Chandraprabha vati, Goksuradi guggul, Vishtinduk vati etc.