Stress incontinence is also known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or effort incontinence, which is a type of incontinence. It takes place due to the insufficient strength of the closure of the urinary bladder.
It can also be referred to as the slight loss of bladder control because of coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising, or other movements that increase the intra-abdominal pressure near the pelvic muscles and thus increase pressure on the bladder. The fascia of the pelvic floor supports the urethra. If this support is not strong enough, the urethra can move downward when pressure is applied to the abdominal region, allowing urine to pass through.
Managing stress incontinence is a meticulous and planned procedure, as we cannot use unproven home remedies to work on something as sensitive as the urinary system. There are several ways to cure stress incontinence. Given here are a few of those:
There are some behavioural changes that one can imbibe that can improve the condition of stress incontinence. Firstly, one must reduce the amount of liquid consumption and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages as they irritate the bladder.
In addition, certain edibles, such as spicy junk food, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and citrus food, irritate the bladder, and one should prefer refraining from them. Finally, quit smoking. Smoking troubles the bladder and can make you cough continuously (putting stress on the bladder muscles).
Weight loss is another crucial step, as excessive weight stresses the abdominal muscles. Usually, in overweight men and women, stress incontinence occurs several times a week. However, with exercise and a nutritious but restricted diet, they can experience a more significant reduction in overall incontinence episodes.
One of the most common treatments doctors recommend includes exercising the pelvic region muscles. Also known as Kegel exercises, they help strengthen the sphincter and retrain pelvic floor muscles that can reduce stress leakage.
Patients younger than 60 years of age benefit the most from these exercises. A patient should work out at least 24 daily contractions for at least six weeks. A kegel exerciser is a device that helps assess pelvic floor muscle strength. In addition, there is evidence of the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) in improving bladder control.
An incontinence pad is an absorbent sheet with multiple layers that collect urine. Other incontinence products include absorbent undergarments and adult diapers. These may cause side effects such as occassional leaks, odors, skin breakdown, and UTIs.
Incontinence pads come in the form of a small sheet placed underneath patients in the healthcare facilities. when it is not practical for the patient to wear a diaper. Other than adult briefs, pads & liners, and other protective undergarments, incontinence clamps also help, specifically men dealing with stress incontinence.
Biofeedback is a method that uses measuring devices to help the patient understand their body's functions. For example, the use of electronic devices or diaries to keep track of the bladder and the time urethral muscles contract. This allows the patient to gain control over these muscles.
A pessary is a device put into the vagina. The most common pessaries are ring-shaped and are typically used to correct vaginal prolapse. For some women, this can reduce stress leakage. However, using pessaries puts one at risk of vaginal and urinary tract infections. Thus, regular monitoring is essential.
Doctors usually consider surgery only if all the other treatment options are insufficient. Surgery has higher rates of success. These may include -
Stress incontinence is rare in men as they do not go through some life experiences that change or periodically alter a person's abdominal region. Instead, the most common cause in men is a post-surgical complication following prostatectomy or any other surgical procedure.
Many physical changes result due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, which often contribute to stress incontinence. Stress incontinence can worsen during, before, or after the week of the menstrual period.
During that time, lowered estrogen levels may lead to decreased muscular pressure around the urethra, which increases the chances of leakage—the occurrences of stress incontinence increase following menopause, similarly because of the lowered estrogen levels.
In female athletes, stress incontinence occurs in most sports involving abrupt continuous increases in intra-abdominal pressure.
Incontinence can be challenging to live with without suitable adaptive and rehabilitative methods. But conversely, the right kind of treatment and guidance can make life with incontinence much simpler and easier.
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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.
He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...
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