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October 09, 2021

Urinary incontinence is a common and uncomfortable condition that, if you’re reading this post, you’re probably wondering how to solve.

There are a few tell-tale, and very obvious, signs that you have urinary incontinence. The problem itself can range from a small trickle now and then to losing a moderate amount of urine several times each day. If you think that you fall somewhere within this spectrum, this post is for you.

In this article, we’ll be discussing what factors define urine loss as a urinary incontinence issue, as well as some of the factors that can lead to urinary incontinence and how to deal with it. 

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence, in simpler terms, is loss of bladder control. And can be particularly common after childbirth, as a result of playing high-impact sports regularly, and following injury to the pelvic floor muscles. Urinary incontinence is also more likely to happen as we age - though growing older doesn’t mean that losing bladder control is inevitable.

The problem can range from the occasional loss of small amounts of urine to more moderate amounts lost frequently.

Types of urinary incontinence include:

Stress incontinence- such as pressure from sneezing, laughing or exercising.

Urge incontinence- feeling the urge to pee followed quickly by losing urine.

Overflow incontinence- caused by a bladder that doesn’t empty effectively and results in a frequent or constant dribble of urine.

Functional incontinence- the inability to make it to the toilet on time due to mental or physical limits. 

You could also be experiencing incontinence as a mix of any or all of these things.

What causes urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can be both short and long-term. Let’s have a look at the different causes of both.

Causes of short-term urinary incontinence:

  • Consuming food and drink that stimulates the bladder - such as alcohol and citrus fruits
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Constipation 

Causes of long-term urinary incontinence:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Ageing
  • Menopause
  • Obstruction
  • Neurological dysfunction

Find out more about the causes of urinary incontinence at Mayo Clinic.

What to do if you’re experiencing urinary incontinence

By now, you probably have a clear idea as to whether you’re dealing with urinary incontinence and what, exactly, is causing it. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily have to stay that way! There are lots of things that we can do to care for our bladders and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are responsible for controlling the bladder, you can read more about them here.

If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence and feel that it’s becoming an issue in your daily life, it’s important to contact a doctor or healthcare provider for help.

It’s also a good idea to practice Kegels (or pelvic floor exercises) daily - find out how to do that here- avoid high impact sports, and wear a sanitary towel or pantyliner. 

The takeaway

Incontinence is common and is nothing to feel embarrassed about. However, it’s important to find the cause of the problem and take the necessary steps back to bladder control!


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