When you think of incontinence, you generally think of those times where you are completely unable to hold our urine, and thoroughly wet yourself. Many people don’t necessarily think of a slight leakage when it comes to incontinence. The times when you have a suddenly urgency to urinate and can’t hold it is known as “urge incontinence.” But when you leak a little urine, it may be due to what is called “stress incontinence.”
What is Stress Incontinence?
Stress incontinence occurs when you do something that causes stress on the bladder, such as exercise, laugh, sneeze, or cough. You may leak when you pick up and carry heavy objects. You may have leakage when you’re under stress, such as a stressful job, or problems on the home front.
Women tend to have stress incontinence more than men because they can experience pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and may even have a hysterectomy, all of which affects, or even damages the pelvic floor muscles associated with controlling the bladder.
But men can develop stress incontinence too, although the type of incontinence that they face tends to be urge incontinence. Still, you may develop stress incontinence due to prostate issues such as enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.
How Common is Incontinence?
You should never be embarrassed when talking to your doctors about leakage, or your incontinence. Stress and urge incontinence affect around 30 percent of women, and 10 percent of men of all ages. As you get older, those numbers increase, but it isn’t something you need to put up with. In fact, there are treatments available for these conditions.
Should I Worry About Stress Incontinence?
Stress incontinence is more than a nuisance; it’s a sign that something isn’t right with the body. It’s a symptom, not just a condition. It can be caused from urinary tract infections, childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, kidney problems, bladder problems, enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, and other types of conditions you should seek to have examined.
I Don’t Have to Live with Incontinence?
The good news is that you don’t have to live with incontinence at all. In most cases there are treatments for incontinence, and that’s good news. It’s important to visit your doctor, and tell them what is going on. Your doctor may want specifics for when this slight leakage occurs. They may run tests so they can determine the cause. They may prescribe medication to treat your underlying conditions. Your doctor may even give you exercises to perform to strengthen the muscles around your bladder. Called “Kegels,” they can be particularly helpful in treating incontinence symptoms.
So, even if you leak just a little bit, it is still considered incontinence, and you must treat it like any medical condition. We don’t have to be embarrassed by our condition any longer. Remember that one in three women and one in ten men suffer from this condition. It’s very possible to manage your incontinence if you just talk with your doctor.