Stress incontinence is incredibly common across the world, yet it is something that is rarely discussed. The potential there for is that many individuals do not know that there is a diagnosis for their symptoms and more importantly, treatments available too.
Stress incontinence happens when the bladder leaks urine due to pressure from one of the following external factors; exercise, coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing or jumping. It appears to be more common in women (though it is just as feasible for men to be diagnosed with stress incontinence) and there are at least one in five women over the age of forty who have some degree of stress incontinence. Because incontinence isn’t something that is often discussed, it could be that incidences are much higher than this.
Despite this diagnosis most commonly being made in those over the age of 40, stress incontinence is not an age related condition. Stress incontinence is the result of weak and/or damaged pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincters. It becomes apparent why it is a condition most associated with women when you learn the most likely contributing factors, which are:
• The extra weight on the abdomen during pregnancy
• Vaginal childbirth
• Bladder damage during gynaecological surgeries such as hysterectomies
• Other contributing factors also include: Neurological disease and connective tissue disorders, medications such as diuretics, sedatives and antidepressants.
What should you watch out for?
Leaking small amounts of urine or feeling a frequent, urgent need to urinate are signs that you may need to consult a health care professional. There are lots of management options that will be discussed with you. These range from lifestyle changes, to muscle training, medication and surgical procedures.
It is estimated that there are countless more individuals suffering with the symptoms of urinary stress incontinence than currently recorded. This is likely due to the stigma that surrounds incontinence. Many patients claim that seeing a dedicated professional such as Mr Broome at The Pelvic Clinic can make seeking treatment easier as it takes away some of their (unnecessary) embarrassment.
To find out more about stress incontinence and its treatment click here