Are You Suffering from Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is one of the most frequent complaints encountered by women worldwide. You can lose a few drops of urine during a physical activity, which on many occasions can be quite embarrassing. Urinary incontinence can take many forms. For some, loss of urine is only slightly uncomfortable but it can also turn out to be totally devastating.
The reason why urinary incontinence is so debilitating is the fact that it causes a great deal of emotional distress. You want to isolate yourself from the crowd so that you don’t face the embarrassment. This makes you unable to enjoy wonderful moments with family and friends. Urinary incontinence can also occur during sexual activity, which puts both partners under a great deal of emotional stress.
Both men and women experience urinary incontinence, but the condition is more common in women. Pregnancy, childbirth and physical changes related to aging are the most obvious reason to blame for these statistics. An older woman is more prone to develop urinary incontinence than a woman who is young, but the condition is not only related to aging.
Before getting into the details of how you can manage and prevent this condition, you should know what exactly causes urinary incontinence. Your kidneys normally excrete the wastes in the form of water like liquid called urine. This process continues throughout the day and the urine is collected in a small balloon shaped organ that is also known as bladder.
Your kidneys are connected to the bladder with the help of long tube structures called ureters. When you feel an urge to urinate, the muscles of your bladder contract and let go the urine into urethra through which it is excreted outside your body. The sphincter muscles in your urethra relax in order to remove the entire content of the bladder. Once the bladder is fully emptied, circular muscles or sphincter in the urethra closes tightly to prevent further leakage of urine.
Stress urinary incontinence perhaps is the most common type of incontinence affecting women. This condition normally occurs when the muscles of your pelvic floor are damaged. When the muscles supporting your bladder or urethra are not strong enough, urine may leak or escape out of the body even with a slight physical exertion.
If you notice urine to leak every time you cough, laugh or sneeze, you may be suffering from stress urinary incontinence. Most new moms experience this condition due to physical changes resulting from pregnancy. However, stress urinary incontinence is also very common after menopause.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, obesity or excessive body weight also worsens stress incontinence. This is because increased abdominal pressure is exerted on your internal organs. You are also more likely to feel the effects of stress urinary incontinence if you smoke.
When the muscles of your pelvic floor weaken, your bladder may also change its position and move downwards, towards the vagina. Since the muscles and sphincters are no longer squeezed tightly as under normal condition, any physical stress forces urine to move out of the body.
You may not experience urine leakage with every physical activity, but there are increased chances of urine loss particularly when your bladder is full. The leakage may be very minor such as one little drop or it may be a complete discharge of bladder content.
You should carefully note the amount of urine you lose during a leakage. If stress urinary incontinence is in early stages, you can get over it relatively quickly. Even if the condition has progressed, you can still exercise your pelvic floor muscles and get rid of this debilitating issue.
Most women seek surgical methods to treat stress urinary incontinence once it starts interfering with their routine activities and social life. Like any other invasive surgical procedure, surgery for stress urinary incontinence also has chances of further complications.
You may have difficulty urinating or emptying your bladder. There are increased chances of painful intercourse and urinary tract infections. Although you get rid of stress incontinence, you are at increased risk of developing organ prolapse. These complications do not include the pain and stress of a surgical procedure.
You can effectively address all your concerns related to stress urinary incontinence even without surgery. All you need to do is start exercising the muscles of your pelvic floor. Making healthy lifestyle changes will definitely improve your symptoms.
There are special exercises known as Kegels that help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. You can learn to do these exercises properly and see a marked improvement in your incontinence episodes. The results you get are solely dependent on your honesty and efforts you put in. You not only need to perform the Kegel exercises, but also stick to your schedule. These exercises need to be done on a regular basis for maximum results.
The pelvic floor training sessions in the form of Kegel exercises will greatly reduce the amount of urine that leaks whenever you run or jump. These exercises also strengthen the urethral sphincter, which helps control urine leakage.
Even if you are new to this exercise regime, you don’t need to worry. The Kegel exercises can be done about 10 to 15 minutes every day. You can perform two to three sets of pelvic floor muscles training exercises about three times in a day. This way, you can regain control over your bladder and muscle movement that will help you enjoy your social and sex life to the fullest.
Starting the Kegel exercises at an early stage provides a lot of benefits. You no longer need to worry about stress incontinence or organ prolapse. These exercises can be started even if the symptoms of stress urinary incontinence don’t bother you. Remember, it is never too late to start the Kegel exercises. You can include the Kegel exercises in your routine even if you are suffering from stress incontinence.
You will definitely be amazed to see the symptoms go away and there will be absolutely nothing that comes between you and your career, family and social life.
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