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Everything You Need To Know About Adult Incontinence
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Adult incontinence is now a major health concern in modern society. Many people complain about the loss of bladder and bowel control, which leads to involuntary loss of urine or fecal matter. According to the Urology Care Foundation (UFC), about 33 million Americans show signs of an overactive bladder (OAB). The National Association for Incontinence (NACI) on the other hand says 25 million adult Americans suffer from some form of urinary incontinence, with the largest number being women.

The number of people suffering from incontinence could be higher as many suffer in silence due to the stigma associated with the symptoms. Incontinence among adults leads to a loss of self-esteem, the adopting of an inactive lifestyle, skin and urethra infections, mental problems, as well as other social problems. Families also have to grapple with providing care to their loved ones suffering from the condition.

If you suffer from any form of incontinence or you have an incontinent adult under your care, it is important to learn as much as you can about the condition. After all, they say you can only manage what you know for adult diaper. In this article, you will get more insight on incontinence in adults, the treatment, and protection. Keep reading.

  1. What Are the Symptoms?

It is important to appreciate that incontinence is not a condition in itself but rather a symptom of a serious underlying problem. It is important to understand the symptoms to seek treatment early and to find the best products that offer protection. Some of these symptoms include:

  1. The sudden, intense urge to urinate, which leads to involuntary loss of urine if there is no bathroom nearby. There might also be a leak. This is a condition known as urge incontinence or overactive bladder.

  2. Any sudden pressure on the bladder such as a cough, a sneeze, or a laugh leads to the loss of urine. It is a sign of weak bladder muscles caused by pregnancy, childbirth, surgery of the reproductive system among other causes. This is also known as stress incontinence.

  3. The dripping of urine when the bladder cannot empty itself fully. This is known as overflow incontinence.

  4. Leaking of urine when you can’t get to the bathroom in time due to medical conditions such as arthritis or Alzheimer’s disease among others. This is known as functional incontinence.

If you have someone under your care and you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek medical attention.

  1. Adult Incontinence Causes

It is important to initially understand the cause and then venture to treat and manage adult incontinence. It is from understanding the cause that you can identify a suitable solution to incontinence.

The major causes of incontinence among adults are:

  1. Pregnancy: An increase in weight during pregnancy, and hormonal changes can cause stress incontinence.

  2. Childbirth/Vaginal delivery: Can cause muscles needed for bladder control to weakening and can damage supportive tissue and nerves around the bladder. The effect these factors have on the pelvic floor can lead to incontinence.

  3. Menopause: Hormonal changes associated with this phase of a woman’s life affect the health of the bladder and urethra.

  4. Old age: A decrease in the bladder's capacity to store urine is the most common cause of incontinence.

  5. Certain types of Surgery: Hysterectomy or other surgery of a woman reproductive system can cause incontinence.

  6. Problems with the Prostate gland: An enlargement of the prostate gland, prostate cancer and side effects of treatment for prostate cancer can all lead to incontinence.

  7. Blockages in the urinary tract are a cause of incontinence.

  8. Neurological disorders that damage nerves around the bladder including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.

A doctor will correctly diagnose the correct problem as there are different types of incontinence. Getting a diagnosis is the only way of knowing the underlying problem that caused the problem, so that you can opt for proper treatment.

  1. Stress Incontinence

Is a kind of incontinence that is characterized by the involuntary loss of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy weights, or while rising from a chair or a bed. The sudden pressure on the bladder forces urine out and leads to an embarrassing situation. There are various explanations for this condition. These include weakening of bladder muscles or the weakening of pelvic floor muscles during and after pregnancy. Stress incontinence will occur when the neck of the bladder and the urethra do not close properly.

  1. What is the Diagnosis in Adult Incontinence?

It is important to consult your doctor if you experience the symptoms associated with incontinence described above. A doctor would need to identify and treat any underlying problems that cause incontinence. A visit to an urologist or urogynecologist for women is the first step towards getting initial treatment.

The specialist will ask about the frequency of incontinence to determine if there is any cause for alarm. They will also to examine your medical history to see if there are any any medical conditions or surgical procedures that could cause these symptoms. Some of the tests done to reach a diagnosis include:

  1. Urine tests: To detect bacteria causing infection

  2. Urodynamic study: To determine the efficiency of nerves and muscles of your bladder and to locate blockages.

  3. Cystoscopy: To assess any structural problems in your urethra.

  4. Cystogram: X-rays of your bladder to identify any bladder problems that can cause incontinence.

  1. Treatment For Adult Incontinence

Treatment for incontinence depends on the causes. Treatment options include:

  1. Medication: Often used to relax overactive bladder muscles and treat urge incontinence.

  2. Estrogen cream: For strengthening weakened tissues in the urethra and vagina.

  3. Inserts: Vaginal pessaries are soft, removable device that go in the vagina to prop up the bladder and treat stress incontinence. Urethral inserts plug the passage to prevent leaking.

  4. Botox injections in the bladder muscles: Cause the bladder to relax and increases storage capacity.

  5. Bulking material around urethra: To close the passage and build up the walls to prevent leaks.

  6. Nerve stimulator: A device implanted under the skin that sends electrical pulses to the muscles that regulate the bladder.

  7. Surgery: Based on the symptoms, your doctor might propose surgical procedures such as bladder neck suspension, Prolapse surgery, and sling procedures.

  1. What Products Are Available to Manage Incontinence?

A wide range of incontinence products for adults are available in the market including protective pads, absorbent pads, catheters, plastic pants and adult diapers. You should buy one that suits your level of incontinence and lifestyle.

With this insight into adult incontinence, it is easier to treat the problem and manage it using available solutions. As they say, information is power. Go ahead and use this information to deal with incontinence and live a more enjoyable life!

By Steve
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.


Biography: Steve Goelman CEO of Unique Wellness provides tips for best adult diapers & most absorbent pull ups inspired by NASA technology.

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Disclaimer and Terms. This article is the opinion of the author. makes no claims regarding this information. recommends that all medical conditions should be treated by a physician competent in treating that particular condition. takes no responsibility for customers choosing to treat themselves. Your use of this information is at your own risk. Your use of this information is governed by WWH terms and conditions.