Causes of adult incontinence
Though it’s not often discussed, adult incontinence is a real problem many people face. Potential causes of adult incontinence include weak pelvic floor muscles, damage to the nerves that control the bladder, and pregnancy or childbirth. This article will take a closer look at each of these potential causes.
Weakened pelvic floor muscles
While both men and women have pelvic floor muscles, women are more likely to experience incontinence due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. This can be due to pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, or aging. When the pelvic floor muscles are weakened, they cannot support the bladder and keep it closed, which can lead to leakage.
Damaged or overstretched nerves
The most common cause of adult incontinence is damage to the nerves that help you hold or release urine. When these nerves are damaged, you may not be able to tell when your bladder is full, or you may not be able to control your urine flow. Nerve damage can be caused by the following:
- spinal cord injury
- multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Enlarged prostate
- The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra; the tube drains urine from the bladder. The prostate gland secretes a fluid that helps to nourish and protect sperm cells.
As men age, the prostate tends to enlarge. This can cause urinary problems, such as difficulty urinating, a weak stream of urine, and the need to urinate more frequently. Enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It’s not cancer, but it can be annoying and uncomfortable.
There’s no sure way to prevent enlarged prostate. But there are things you can do that might help lower your risk:
-Eat a healthy diet
-Maintain a healthy weight
How to stop adult incontinence
If you are an adult suffering from incontinence, there are a few things you can do to help stop the problem. First, you can try pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control urination. Try wearing absorbent pads or underwear to help absorb any leaks. Finally, you can talk to your doctor about medication or surgery options.
Kegel exercises can improve sexual health and treat stress incontinence and other urinary problems.
To do a Kegel exercise, squeeze the muscles you would use to stop the urine flow. Hold the contraction for three seconds, then relax for three seconds. Repeat ten times. Try to do at least three sets of 10 per day.
Pelvic floor muscle training
Pelvic floor muscle training is a type of physical therapy. It strengthens the muscles around your bladder and rectum. This can help stop or prevent incontinence.
Pelvic floor muscle training is called pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation, pelvic floor muscle re-education, or Kegel exercises. You can do them anywhere, anytime — even while doing other things, such as talking on the phone or watching TV. Your doctor or physical therapist can teach you how to do the exercises.
You should do pelvic floor muscle exercises every day for 3 to 6 weeks before seeing results. But don’t give up — most people who stick with it see an improvement.
There are many medications available to help people with incontinence. The type of medicine you take depends on the type of incontinence you have. Some medicines help calm an overactive bladder or make it easier to hold your urine. Other medicines can help to thicken your urine, so you have less leakage.
Your doctor may also prescribe a medicine to help with constipation, which can worsen incontinence.
When to see a doctor
Peeing in your pants can be a normal part of childhood, but it can also be a sign of a medical problem. If your child is wetting their pants more than once a day, you should take them to a doctor.
If incontinence is affecting your quality of life
Talk to your doctor if you have urinary or fecal incontinence more than once a week and it’s affecting your quality of life. You may have a treatable condition.
Incontinence can happen to anyone, but it’s more common as you age. It affects men and women, but women are more likely to have it.
If you have urinary tract infections or skin problems
If you develop a urinary tract infection (UTI), see your doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms of a UTI may include a burning sensation or pain when urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to serious kidney problems.
See your doctor for treatment if you have a skin problem such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, or ringworm. These problems can often be treated with over-the-counter medications, but if they don’t improve after a few weeks or if they seem to be getting worse, see your doctor.
If you are leaking large amounts of urine
You might need to see your doctor if you are leaking urine frequently. This is especially true if:
you are leaking more than a cup of urine at a time
you are urinating more than eight times a day
you have never been diagnosed with incontinence before
you have incontinence and also have pelvic pain or pressure, blood in your urine, or difficulty urinating
you have incontinence and are pregnant