Female Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence is a common and often embarrassing problem. It is more often an issue among women because of their anatomy, childbearing, and child delivery.
The severity ranges from occasional small urine leaks when sneezing, coughing, or laughing to sudden strong urge that may result in not reaching the toilet in time to prevent an accident.
Incontinence gets more common as we get older. However, it is not a normal part of aging.
5 Common Types of Incontinence
There are five common types of urinary incontinence. They are mostly categorized based on the symptoms.
1. Stress incontinence.
Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting something heavy.
2. Urge incontinence.
You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition such as a neurological disorder or diabetes.
3. Overflow incontinence.
You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely.
4. Functional incontinence.
A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
5. Mixed incontinence.
You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.
Causes of Incontinence
Some causes of urinary incontinence in women typically include:
Hormonal changes and the increased weight of the fetus can lead to stress incontinence by pressing on the bladder.
Vaginal delivery can weaken the muscles needed for bladder control and also damage the nerves of the bladder and supportive tissue. In more severe cases, it can even lead to a prolapsed pelvic floor. With prolapse, the bladder, uterus, rectum or small intestine can get pushed down from the usual position and protrude into the vagina. Such protrusions can be associated with incontinence.
3. Changes with age.
Aging of the bladder muscle can decrease the bladder’s capacity to store urine. Also, involuntary bladder contractions become more frequent as you get older.
After menopause, women produce less estrogen – a hormone that helps keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. This lack of estrogen can lead to deterioration of these tissues which can aggravate incontinence.
In women, the bladder and uterus are supported by many of the same muscles and ligaments. Any surgery that involves a woman’s reproductive system, including removal of the uterus, may damage the supporting pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence.
Biologic treatment is one of the best options for female urinary incontinence. Of course, for some of the more severe cases, such as prolapse, surgery is necessary. However, the majority of incontinence patients can be managed without surgery.
By injecting a patient’s own plasma and platelets into several strategic locations, the healing machinery of the body is set in motion:
- New blood vessels form,
- Muscular hypertrophy and strengthening occurs,
- Ligaments and tendons regenerate,
- And new nerve endings develop.
This, in turn, leads to improved bladder and sphincter function.
There is no surgery involved in biologic treatment. And no side effects are expected, because the patient’s own body is used to heal itself.