Urinary Incontinence - Solutions To A Problem You Never Knew Existed
Yet, about one in every four women over the age of 18 has been affected by the leak, something barely anyone wants to talk about.
We're talking about urinary incontinence, the socially undeciphered problem that is a part of our lives more than we are giving it credit for. Around 200 million people throughout the world are affected by UI, women almost twice as compared to men, in numbers.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control that causes a sudden, involuntary loss of urine ranging from mere episodes of mild urinary discharges to complete loss of bladder control. It means the person must carry an extra pair of clothing and a good perfume almost everywhere they go. Just imagine!
But we're millennials and we don't like leaving problems hanging for too long. We tick and we move. There are solutions to urinary incontinence and that's exactly what we're talking about today.
- PELVIC MUSCLE EXERCISE(aka Kegel exercises)
Pelvic or bladder muscles help in the micturition regulation and making these muscles stronger helps you hold urine in your bladder longer. So, this is your go to solution, starting right from the four walls of your house.
- LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Basic lifestyle changes, with added advantages, ranging from losing weight, quitting smoking, minimising the intake of diuretics like alcohol, caffeine, tea, sodas, may have an unforeseeable impact on your problem with UI. Try to minimize your fluid intake a few hours before bed to enhance the effect of positive results. Keep in mind, do not compromise with your water intake.
Medications like pseudoephedrine help in toning up of the urethra. Anticholinergic medicines like oxybutynin, tolterodine and solifenacin are most commonly used. Moreover, Botox or Botulinum toxin can be given to patients of UI and other bladder related problems, who do not respond well to primary medications available. Botox has been highly effective in relieving UI in almost 75% of women undergoing these injections. Though effective, this treatment needs to be repeatedly taken. Please keep in mind, any medication should be taken only under proper supervision and after the consultation of your doctor.
- ESTROGEN VAGINAL THERAPY
In certain cases, a low dose usage of estrogen vaginal creams or vaginal rings may help relieve stress or urge incontinence. They form a swelling around the urethra and act as a barrier against the leakage.
- NERVE STIMULATION
It's no astrionics that nerves control urination. Nerve stimulation sending out electrical signals to the nerves surrounding the bladder in order to control urination maybe a viable option.
- Sacral Nerve Stimulation: Done under sedation, in this process a device made up of a neurostimulator and a lead (kind of a pacemaker) is implanted subcutaneously in the region of your lower back at the level of your sacral nerve. Low amplitude electrical signals are sent that inhibit the communication of nerves and the brain, thereby manipulating the pelvic muscles.
- Tibial Nerve Stimulation: This procedure does not require anaesthesia and is incessantly termed as one of the least invasive methods for overactive bladders as in the case of UI. Here the prime focus is on the tibial nerve of the ankle which sends signals to the spine and help to control urination.
Surgery in case of urinary incontinence (as for most other surgeries) has an impact on your body, this one being a highly positive one. The rate of success in these cases is tremendously high.
- Sling Procedure: General or spinal anaesthesia is given, and a sling is fabricated by either using your own body tissue or a synthetic material termed as 'mesh'. It is installed beneath the urethra and prevents stress incontinence.
- Retropubic Colposuspension: This surgery requires several incisions and sutures and is used when your bladder has prolapsed. It helps in upliftment of the bladder and the urethra.
Please keep in mind to consult your doctor before undergoing any above listed treatments.