Incontinence is a troublesome and embarrassing condition, but you don’t have to deal with it in silence. By seeking medical attention, you gain access to effective treatments that can help to reduce and even alleviate your symptoms. Francisco Anguiano, MD, has years of experience treating incontinence and providing compassionate care at his practice in Chula Vista, California. Call the office today or book your consultation online.
Incontinence Q & A
What is incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the uncontrollable leaking of urine. While many people deal with incontinence, not enough sufferers seek necessary medical attention to reduce or even alleviate their symptoms.
Urinary incontinence can also affect you emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Some people with incontinence avoid in certain daily or social activities for fear they may experience incontinence. It can negatively impact the quality of life.
Urinary incontinence is actually a symptom of a disease or condition, not necessarily a disease itself.
How does incontinence affect my body?
Normally, your brain and bladder control your urinary functioning. Your bladder stores your urine, and your surrounding pelvic muscles hold your bladder in place. The sphincter muscles are the muscles that close around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body. This prevents urine from leaking through. Once you’re ready to urinate, your brain communicates to your bladder, causing your sphincter muscles to open, and your bladder muscles to contract.
When this system breaks down, you get urine leakage. Urinary incontinence can be the result of a miscommunication between your brain and bladder, or the result of weakened pelvic or urinary muscles, among other possible causes.
What increases the risk of incontinence?
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing incontinence, such as:
- Having delivered numerous babies
- Being a postmenopausal woman
- Prostate complications in men
- Certain medications
- Certain chronic health complications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
What are the types of incontinence?
There are four different types of urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence, or SUI, is the result of weakened pelvic muscles, which allow urine to pass through. SUI can sometimes happen when the pelvic muscles are stretched — for example, when engaging in physical activity that puts pressure on your bladder, or when walking, bending, lifting, sneezing, or coughing.
Overactive bladder, or OAB, is also called urgency incontinence. It involves a frequent and sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. OAB is usually the result of overactive bladder muscles, or your brain consistently instructing your bladder to empty even when it isn’t full.
Some people have mixed incontinence — a troublesome combination of both overactive bladder and stress incontinence.
Overflow incontinence occurs either when your body produces more urine than your bladder can hold or your bladder becomes full and can’t empty, causing leakage. In some cases, there could be a blockage that stops the flow, or your bladder muscles might not be contracting properly.
To learn more about incontinence and receive quality medical care, visit Dr. Anguiano. Call or book your appointment online.