Urinary incontinence is an issue that people keep hidden. Embarrassed that they are unable to control their bladder, up to six million men and women in the UK try to manage their incontinence daily.
HARTMANN Direct, online suppliers of incontinence products for women and men that make managing incontinence much easier understand that it can be a sign of other problems. You assume, for example, that small leaks of urine are common and a perfectly normal sign of gaining. It doesn’t have to be because with exercise and, in some cases medication, incontinence can be an issue of the past.
#1 You leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise
For women, urinary incontinence is a common part of their lives, an inevitable symptom they assume, of childbirth and age combined.
However, this is not the case. Leaks of urine when the bladder is under pressure such as during a sneezing fit, is a sign of a weak pelvic floor.
And here’s the good news: stress incontinence can be stopped by following a pattern of pelvic floor exercises.
The pelvic floor muscle is the muscle responsible for holding urine in the bladder. It can be damaged or weakened during childbirth.
Some people require surgical intervention but most women can regain control of their bladder with pelvic floor exercises.
#2 Having a sudden urge to urinate and not being able to hold it
If you feel a sudden urge to go to the toilet but find that you have leaked urine before you each the bathroom, you have urge incontinence. A sign of an overactive and irritated bladder, this is also a condition that can be treated successfully.
There are many causes to an overactive bladder, such as damage to bladder nerves, damage to parts of the nervous system and damage to the muscles. People with MS and Parkinson’s disease can find it difficult to make it to the toilet on time, with the sudden urge to urinate hard to control.
There is a growing range of medication that can help people with urge incontinence, although there are side effects to some and contraindications with some medication used to treat illnesses.
#3 You can’t empty your bladder when you go to the toilet
This is known as overflow incontinence. Being unable to empty your bladder means that you will dribble urine.
There are reasons why this may happen such as nerve damage, weak bladder muscles, constipation and certain medications.
This is also a common issue for men, especially if there is a problem with the prostate gland. If the gland is enlarged, it can prevent the flow of urine.
This leaves urine in the bladder and because it can’t empty, problems with urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs can result. Infections will need treating with antibiotics.
#4 You have a constant need to visit the bathroom, day and night
Just as in other signs of infections and illnesses, when your body changes and reacts to certain illnesses, it produces a range of symptoms.
Frequent urination is one of them. For example, if you visit the bathroom to urinate more than eight times in a day, there may be a problem that you need to talk to your doctor about. Also, having disturbed sleep to visit the bathroom is also a sign of a problem relating to your bladder and related organs.
Incontinence that comes on suddenly can be the symptom of a UTI or in some cases a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Both are common and both can be treated with the correct course of antibiotics, as well as prevention methods for the future.
It could be as simple as drinking more water through the day and consuming less of food and drinks that may irritate your bladder. For example, citrus fruits and juices are acidic and can inflame an already irritated bladder, leading to more frequent urination.
#5 You can’t go anywhere or do anything without knowing there is access to a toilet
If you plan your trips out around where there are and aren’t public toilets you can use, this is a sign that you are suffering from continence related issue.
It may be that once you have had a drink, you need to visit the bathroom. This is perfectly common and normal but, if the urge to urinate is so strong and urgent that you cannot stand in a queue for the toilet, there is a problem. Most continence problems can be dealt with successful with a combination of changes to your diet, pelvic floor exercises and help or medication from your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence – ask for help.
HARTMANN Direct has a range of incontinence products suitable for both women and men that make managing incontinence easier on a daily basis.