Why do I have urine incontinence?Urology Gynaecology Health & Fitness
I am a 61 year old female and have urine incontinence. I constantly have to wear panty liner for accidental leakage. It gets even worse when I fall sick and cough very badly - I can't even go out because it's like a big pipe burst.
Sorry to hear about your incontinence problem. Urinary incontinence is a socially embarrassing problem, with many patients not seeking help for it.
There are many different types of urinary incontinence. Here are 3 types that I learnt as a medical student
1. Stress incontinence - Stress incontinence is the leakage of urine when you cough or sneeze or laugh. This is due to decrease muscle control over the bladder neck (which in turn is due to various reasons) resulting in urine leaking whenever the abdominal pressure increases.
2. Urge incontinence - Urge incontinence is the sensation of a great urge to go to the toilet, usually an uncontrollable desire, followed by running towards the toilet. Sometimes, the patient do not make it to the toilet, and wet their pants on the way. Urge incontinence is due to an over active bladder muscle, which in turn is due to many other factors.
3. Overflow incontinence - Overflow incontinance is due to either a very strong bladder neck muscle or bladder outlet obstruction, or due to weak bladder wall muscles. This results in the patient constantly leaking urine slowly all the time. Once again, there are many factors, and may require different treatment.
Sometimes the incontinence is due to more than one type, so diagnosis will require a doctor to see you and check your pelvic organs. Sometimes a urodynamics study will be necessary to see the behaviour of the bladder muscles.
Treatment will depends on what is the underlying cause. Some may be treated medically, while some may require surgical treatment.
What I suggest is for you to see your family doctor, or a Urogynecologist, for an assessment and treatment. This problem may be properly treated and your life can go back to normal once treated. So do consult your doctor about the incotinence.
As a woman becomes older, it not not surprising to find seven out of ten who will experience some degree of urinary leak. The leak may occur with a physical provocation like coughing, laughing, sneezing, or quick rise from sitting position.
More annoying are those leaks that comes uncontrollably with a sudden strong urge to pee. So it is a common experience. The good news is that most of these cases can be significantly improved or cured, by using a combination of medication, surgery, laser treatment and behavioral adjustment.
The sad news is that most women do not seek help because of embarassment or think that the condition is not severe enough and therefore can be delayed. By procrastinating, many would have lost months and years of exciting social lives while they are still physically healthy and fit otherwise.