Dealing with Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a frustrating condition that can cause physical, emotional and social problems for men and women of all ages. Although incontinence is more common in people who are older (because more age-related health conditions lead to incontinence), this is a problem that can be caused by something as basic as excessive stress, an enlarged prostate or even becoming pregnant. Some people experience just mild urinary incontinence, while others experience severe incontinence that may require wearing adult incontinence briefs in order to avoid embarrassment. Fortunately, urinary incontinence doesn’t have to disrupt your life. Read on to learn more about incontinence treatments and how people can control their symptoms.
Treatments for urinary incontinence range from prescription-strength medications to exercises you can do in your living room. Detrol, Oxytrol, Toviaz and Enablex are among the more commonly prescribed medications that can help relax the muscles of the bladder and reduce the frequency of incontinence. When these medications fail, sometimes doctors inject the bladder with Botox - the fatty substance used in small cosmetic procedures—which can provide several months of relief. Electronic nerve stimulation can calm the muscles of the bladder, and surgery may be recommended as a last resort when incontinence medications fail to yield adequate results.
In addition to incontinence medications, various exercises can help people to manage their conditions. Kegel exercises are the most common form of physical therapy for the long-term management of urinary incontinence. These pelvic-floor exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic region, allowing people to gain better control of their bladders and their urges to urinate. In addition, people who have stronger pelvic muscles are more able to fully empty their bladders when urinating, which can prevent further instances of incontinence. Bladder training programs are also helpful forms of physical therapy; in these programs, people learn to regulate their urinary habits using a regimen of controlled fluid intake and scheduled trips to the restroom.
Another form of treatment is the use of urinary incontinence briefs, which are also known as adult diapers. Some of the leading producers of these products are Depends and Poise. While nobody looks forward to wearing incontinence briefs, the reality is these briefs can save people from greater embarrassment when the urge to urinate strikes with not a restroom in site. Also, today’s newest incontinence briefs are made to be lighter and sleeker, almost feeling like wearing regular underwear for models designed to counteract minor incontinence.
When people suffer from urinary incontinence, their doctors will work with them to identify and treat the underlying causes of their conditions. When underlying medical conditions are found, then the incontinence almost always fades following the treatment of the condition. In some cases, incontinence may be a result of a medication or surgical procedure, in which case more time may be needed for incontinence symptoms to subside. Incontinence can also be a symptom of more severe health problems such as kidney disease or prostate cancer. People who suffer from incontinence should talk to their doctors right away, even if it appears to be a one-time incident.