The most common causes of incontinence are:
This type of incontinence occurs when you can’t get to the bathroom in time to urinate. This isn’t a problem with the bladder but rather an inability to urinate for various reasons, such as a physical or mental disability, or when the toilet is hard to get to in the home.
One way for people with urge incontinence to correct the problem is by creating a regular urination schedule. The goal is to re-educate the bladder, muscles and nerves as follows:
Several types of incontinence improve with Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles that support the bladder to improve control and decrease or stop incontinence episodes. Kegel exercises involve tightening the muscles that prevent urination and then relaxing them. The full exercise regimen is as follows :
You can also use a device called a pessary, which keeps the bladder in place and reinforces loose pelvic floor muscles. A plug can also be inserted into the urethra to prevent urine leakage. However, these devices can cause urinary tract infections and inflammation of the vaginal mucus membranes in women. They are normally recommended by a urologist, who is a specialist of the urinary tract.
Before considering medication, your doctor and pharmacist must ensure that your incontinence isn’t a side effect of another medication or a disease that could be treated (e.g., constipation).
A number of drugs are effective at controlling incontinence. Each type of incontinence has its own specific drug treatment, and health care professionals can help you determine the cause of your incontinence and choose the most appropriate treatment for you.
Medications have different mechanisms of action. Some act on benign prostate hypertrophy in men, while others reinforce the bladder muscles or help to completely empty the bladder. You will feel the maximum effect of the medication 4 to 8 weeks after starting treatment.
As with any drug treatment, these medications may have side effects and interactions. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
Incontinence pants or underwear will let you avoid embarrassing incidents as you find the right treatment. Many products at the pharmacy will also help you avoid or discreetly manage accidents. Your pharmacist can help you choose the best product for your comfort and your type of incontinence.
You can also maintain your bladder health and prevent urinary incontinence by:
If you have incontinence, don’t hesitate to talk about it with a health care professional. Incontinence can be treated, and you can live with this condition while keeping your dignity and quality of life.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.