Incontinence is the involuntary expulsion of urine or faeces. In short, you can’t control your bathroom habits. This can cause serious problems with the way you interact with things and people. Your type of incontinence could have been caused by something entirely different to someone else’s incontinence.
What Does Incontinence Mean for You?
- Sleep problems leading to a range of sleep deprivation conditions.
- Skin irritation.
- Problems interacting in social situations; nervousness, anxiety, etc.
- Avoiding events and travel due to fears of incontinence.
- Low self-esteem
Types of Incontinence
- Stress incontinence. This is where the pressure in your bladder forces your urethra (urinary tract) open. Laughing or sneezing can cause it to open.
- Urge incontinence. This is a strong urge or need to go to the bathroom that cannot be suppressed.
- Overflow incontinence. You can empty only part of your bladder so the bladder eventually becomes so full the urine leaks out.
- Total incontinence. Your bladder can’t hold urine. Almost as soon as it receives liquid it flows straight through again.
- Mixed incontinence. This is a combination of the above type.
How is it diagnosed?
A combination of the following:
- A detailed clinical interview
- 24 hour voiding diary
- Physical Exam
- Possible Tests
- Urine tests, Blood tests, Ultrasound, cystoscopy, urodynamics
What Can You Do About It?
Your treatment will depend on the type of incontinence you have. We always begin with conservative measures followed by medical and surgical options. More information on each of these can be found in the video section.
- Conservative treatments
- Removing dietary triggers such as caffeine
- Bladder retraining. This is about gradually training yourself to overcome the urge to urinate and increasing the capacity of the bladder over time.
- Pelvic floor muscle training.
- Surgical procedures are normally a last resort when these other options have failed.