Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination or retain urine.
During the day, the kidneys create urine, which, through the urinary channels, reaches the bladder. When it is full, the brain receives information about it, and the brain structures send signals that it is time to empty it. An important role is played by the muscles located next to the beginning of the urethra (sphincters). They relax so that a stream of urine appears. This means that the preserved function of the urinary bladder and sphincter is necessary for unhindered urination.
However, if due to certain causes the muscles weaken, there is a loss of voluntary control of urination, and any sudden pressure on the bladder leads to the impossibility of holding urine.
Although it is rarely talked about, urinary incontinence is a common problem. It occurs in both sexes, where it is 8 to 10 times more common in women. It is estimated that about 50 percent of women suffer from it, while it is registered in 30 percent of men.
Types of urinary incontinence
The most common form is stress urinary incontinence. It represents the discharge of urine due to pressure on the bladder. It usually occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting heavy loads. This type of incontinence is most often the result of childbirth and menopause, while in men it occurs after prostate surgery. Although it can also be caused by certain drugs, obesity, and constipation.
Urgent or urgent urinary incontinence is a sudden, intense and uncontrollable urge to empty the bladder. The muscles give a warning that there is a need to urinate, but it lasts for a few seconds and it is almost impossible to reach the toilet. This type of incontinence occurs in the elderly. In addition to the natural aging process, other causes include urinary tract infections, uterine prolapse, estrogen deficiency, bladder stones, and stroke. Some diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, and multiple sclerosis, can also lead to problems.
Functional urinary incontinence is caused by cognitive or physical disorders. The main causes are dementia and degenerative diseases, especially the more severe form of rheumatoid arthritis.
Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of several types of incontinence.
Life with urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence affects the quality of life. Unfortunately, many people with this problem have a sense of shame, and urinary infections and dermatitis due to constantly moist skin are frequent companions of involuntary urination.
Temporary, i.e. transitory, incontinence is treated by eliminating the cause, while permanent incontinence requires a change in the daily routine.
Controlled fluid intake, avoiding excessive consumption of coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol, maintaining normal body weight, and strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor with special exercises form the basis for reducing the involuntary flow of urine. In certain situations, estrogen creams and drug therapy (anticholinergics) are used, while urinary catheterization is recommended for immobile persons. It is a routine medical procedure in which a catheter is introduced through the urethra into the bladder in order to eliminate urine.
Given that the care of immobile people with urinary incontinence also includes catheter maintenance, using home care services is the best solution. The medical staff and caregivers have experience in cleaning, preserving patency, and preventing all possible complications, including pressure ulcers, which are common problems in immobile patients.
The expert team of the MinuteNurse Home health & care center for the care of the elderly and the sick is at your disposal 24 hours a day, 365 days a year not only for help at home but also for providing all kinds of therapy. Contact us and see for yourself the benefits of personal home care that we offer.