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How to Prevent Incontinence From Progressing

How To Prevent Incontience from Progressing

Incontinence is a symptom experienced by millions of people every day. It is thought that incontinence affects a quarter to a third of the population of the United States.

The number of people who suffer from incontinence isn't clearly understood, because many individuals may be embarrassed to talk about it with their doctors. In addition to being embarrassing, it often causes psychological distress and can make some people avoid activities they enjoy.

However, it doesn't have to be that way. There are many things you can do and products that are available that allow you to manage your symptoms and live a full and happy life.

What is Incontience

 

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control. It occurs in both men and women. There are different kinds of incontinence, so it is important to know which kind you might have to determine the best products and course of action that may help you.

 

Incontience Facts

 

If you think you may have one or more of these symptoms, your first step should be to see your doctor. Incontinence could be a sign there is an underlying problem, such as a urinary tract infection, and your doctor will need to examine you properly to make a diagnosis.

What Causes Incontience

 

While there is no one cause of incontinence, there are some factors that can raise your risk of developing it. Certain medical conditions, such as urinary tract infections or constipation, can cause incontinence in both men and woman.

Pregnancy, childbirth and the number of children you have given birth to can increase the chance of incontinence in women (this is true for both vaginal births and caesarean sections). Other physical causes of incontinence include:

Causes of Incontience

 

Other factors that can contribute to your risk of developing incontinence include:

Other Factors of Incontience

 

Additionally, there are certain foods, beverages and medications that can irritate the bladder and exacerbate incontinence, including:

These can exacerbate Incontience

 

Talk to your doctor about these and other things to decrease instances of incontinence.

How is Incontience Treated

 

Dealing with incontinence can be overwhelming and isolating. It can keep you from being physically and socially active.

However, this doesn't have to be the case. There are a variety of options available for treating incontinence and for mitigating its effects, so you can return to your regular routine.

It is important that you work with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for the type and severity of the incontinence that you have. Most doctors begin with the least invasive treatments first and go from there.

Behavioral Treatments

 

Behavioral Treatments Information

 

Your doctor may suggest you work with a physical therapist or use biofeedback    techniques to ensure you're working the correct muscles during this process.

Electrical Stimulation

 

This may sound scarier than it is. Electrical stimulation is simply a temporary procedure in which electrodes are inserted into your rectum or vagina to gently stimulate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. You may need multiple treatments over many months.

Medications

 

Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following kinds of medications to address incontinence:

Types of Medication

 

Medical Devices

 

There is a broad range of medical devices that can help alleviate incontinence. Your doctor can help you determine which ones are right for you. Below is a list of medical devices you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Catheters

A catheter is a thin tube that is inserted into the bladder, either via the urethra or a small incision in the belly. Urine is drained through the tube.

Indwelling Catheters Indwelling Catheters Diagram

 

There are two basic kinds of indwelling catheters. Indwelling Foley catheters are inserted into the urethra by a healthcare provider.

Suprapubic catheters go above the pelvic bone through a small surgical incision in the belly, performed by a urologist. Both types of catheters have a balloon that holds the tube in the bladder and drains the urine into a bag outside of the body.
Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters do not require gloves or sterile preparation. They can be inserted by you or by a caregiver.

These catheters are inserted 3-5 times a day. After the bladder is emptied, the catheter is removed and thrown away.
External Collecting Systems

These systems exist for both men and women. The most common type of external collecting system for men is called a condom catheter. It goes over the penis and has a tube at the end, connected to a drainage bag, where the urine is collected.

External collecting systems for women funnel urine through a tube to a connecting device that is attached to the labia.

Absorbent Products

 

There are a variety of absorbent garment products for men and women available on the market today. These are no more bulky than normal underwear, and can be easily concealed under everyday clothing.

Types of Absorbent Products

When considering these products, keep in mind the material they are made from and any allergies you might have, as well what your daily routine is like, and which products will give you the most freedom.

Toilet Substitutes

 

You may want to consider toilet substitutes for certain situations, such as travel or if your bedroom is on a floor of the house without a bathroom. These products can save you from injury and accident.

Toilet Substitues examples

 

Lifestyle and Personal Care

 

There are some additional things you can do at home that may make dealing with incontinence a little easier. Incontinence can cause skin irritation problems in the area around the urethra. To prevent these problems, follow these steps in your daily hygiene routine:

Daily Hygene Routine

If you have OAB or urge incontinence or nighttime incontinence, be sure to clear a path to your bathroom. Move furniture and rugs out of the way to prevent falls when you're trying to get to the bathroom quickly at night. You may also want to consider adding nightlights along the path to the bathroom so you can see more clearly.

Interventional Therapies

 

There are a few procedures you may want to discuss with your doctor that are more invasive than the methods previously discussed, but are not as invasive as surgery. They are:

Types of Intercentional Therapies

 

Surgery

 

If none of the less invasive options work, your doctor may suggest surgery to help with your incontinence. There are a few different kinds of procedures available, and your doctor should go over them with you and help you decide which is best. Below is a list of surgical options that may be available to you.

Surgical Options

 

Final Thoughts

 

Incontinence can be an overwhelming experience, and it can make you feel alienated from the people you love, the activities you enjoy and the fantastic life you lead. It's important to know it doesn't have to be that way. There are a myriad of different techniques, devices, medications and surgeries that can get you back to living the life that you love.

Educating yourself about the options available to you is key. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider today to discover which of these things is right for you and take the first step to regaining your confidence to do the things that you love.

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