Urinary incontinence is common with aging and may range in severity from mild to severe wetting. For many people, there is a sudden urge to urinate frequently. There are millions of people affected by incontinence in the country, but many people have different variations of this condition. This condition is found to be more common among women when compared to men. There are different types of urinary incontinence and the causes and symptoms of the condition depend on the type. The two most common forms of incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence. There are some less common types of incontinence, like overflow incontinence, total incontinence, functional incontinence, and anatomical incontinence.
One of the most common causes of stress incontinence is the stretching of the muscles in the pelvic floor. This may be caused by child birth or when an individual gains weight. As the muscles are stretched, they fail to support the bladder, which then presses the vagina. This hinders the tightening of the muscles that closes the opening of urethra. Any pressure on the bladder, like coughing, sneezing or even laughing, may trigger the feeling. If the person is a smoker, cough caused by continuous smoking may also make the situation worse.
Urge incontinence is causes by the involuntary contraction of bladder muscle. As the contraction happens, urine is pushed out of the bladder. Some of the causes for this type of incontinence are bladder irritation, stress, and certain brain conditions, like Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
Conditions that affect the nerves, like multiple sclerosis and diabetes, may affect the contraction of bladder muscles and result in overflow incontinence. The person may also not be able to sense the fullness of the bladder. Conditions like urinary tract blockage, bladder stones, and urinary tract tumors may all result in overflow incontinence.
Involuntary contraction of the bladder may result in total incontinence. It may also be caused by an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and vagina, spinal cord injuries, and multiple sclerosis.
Functional incontinence results from the inability to reach the bathroom on time when there is an urge to urinate. This may be due to medical conditions, like arthritis, inability to walk, or dementia.
Structural problems in the urinary tract may also result in urinary incontinence:
- Presence of fistula
- Presence of diverticulum in the urethra
- Presence of an abnormal opening between bladder and vagina