Urge incontinence is a common issue that affects women of all ages. Although this variety is less common than stress incontinence, many women still experience it at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, it can disrupt your ability to live an active lifestyle because of the frequent and sudden urges to go to the bathroom. This can get in the way of regular activities and even prevent some women from leaving the house out of fear that they may have an accident.
What Is Urge Incontinence?
This type of incontinence is marked by an inability to control the amount of urine that is released. The most common symptom is the uncontrollable and sudden need to go to the bathroom right away. Needless to say, this uncomfortable situation can certainly stop you from enjoying regular activities. This urge triggers even if the bladder is not full. This type of incontinence can be due to a number of different factors, including childbirth, pelvic surgery, pregnancy, menopause, and aging. There are many ways to treat urge incontinence, and most people improve significantly with treatment. However, some people may require more aggressive treatment than others.
Why Women Experience Incontinence More?
While the exact reason why women experience urinary incontinence more than men is unknown, there are several possible explanations. One theory is that it has to do with the anatomy of the female urinary tract. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, and the bladder sits higher up in the pelvis. This can make it easier for urine to leak out. Although this primarily matters to other types of incontinence, it can affect the urgent feelings associated with this type too.
Another possibility is that hormonal changes may play a role. During pregnancy and after menopause, estrogen levels decline, which can lead to weakened pelvic muscles and increased risk of urinary incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth are exceptionally stressful on a woman’s body, especially in the region where the urinary track lies. Other factors like age and general fitness are not restrained by gender.
Helpful Tips for Urge Incontinence in Women
If you have controllable and sudden urges that lead to urinary incontinence, there are several things you can do to make it easier to manage as part of an active life. First, it makes sense to establish a schedule both for drinking fluids and going to the bathroom. The first part of this can help retrain your bladder muscles and signals to recognize fullness and manage the sense of urgency better. The second scheduling technique can ensure that your bladder is empty when you head out or engage in active pursuits to help prevent overflow issues.
Kegel and pelvic floor exercises can make the muscles supporting your bladder and controlling urethral flow stronger and more able to support an appropriate schedule. Choose to wear urinary incontinence pads in your regular underwear or opt for absorbent undergarments to give you an extra measure of confidence and control. Also, speak with your doctor about possible prescription medication or other treatments available to you.
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