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How to Deal with Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is not a normal part of ageing.

It is a medical condition that can affect your social and daily life because urine leakage can happen at inconvenient timings.

Urinary Incontinence is defined as an involuntary urine leakage.If the condition is severe it may lead to a hygiene or social problem (HealthHub, 2019)

Many individuals who have urinary incontinence are afraid to seek medical help because of the negative social stigma that is associated with it. 

What are the Causes of Urinary Leakage?

Urinary Leakage is a medical condition, and it is not a normal part of ageing,

If you feel that the condition is affecting your daily life, it is time to seek medical help. 

So what are the causes of Chronic Urinary Incontinence? 

Ageing: As we grow older, our bladders’ capacity to hold urine decreases. 

For men, prostate problems comes with age and with an enlarged prostate gland can block the urinary flow resulting in overflow incontinence (involuntary release of urine). 

  • Prostate Cancer: Urinary Incontinence is a side effect of Prostate Cancer Treatment – Radiation/Chemotherapy Treatment. 
  • Surgery on Organs near Bladder: Surgery around the organs near the bladder might result in nerve damage that lead to urinary incontinence. 
  • Urinary Tract Obstruction: Tumours along the urinary tract or Bladder Stones can obstruct the urinary flow and cause incontinence. 
  • Neurological Conditions: Individuals living with Parkinsons or stroke survivors can cause nerve damage to the bladder nerves and cause incontinence. 

If I have Chronic Urinary Incontinence, what can i do?

Depending on the severity of your condition, urinary incontinence can range from a few drops of urine leakage to a significant amount. Many individuals resort to using pads to solve the issue but it is a temporary solution and not a long-term solution. Wearing pads for a long period of time may lead to allergies, rashes or infections. 

Remember, seek medical help from your doctor if your chronic urinary incontinence is affecting your daily life. 

  • Set up a Routine 

Be in control of your condition. Chart your urine leakage patterns and find out which time of the day you need to clear your bladder. This will help you to prevent any inconveniences and unnecessary urinary leakage. 

  • Fluid Intake 

Change your fluid intake – you might need to increase or decrease your fluid intake. Alternatively, you can change the timing that you consume your fluids. 

  • Exercise 

Train your pelvic floor muscles to hold in your bladder. Kegel exercises are effective in training your pelvic floor muscles. Take at least 15 mins of your day to do 

  • Medication 

Your doctor might prescribe medication for you to treat urinary tract infections or constrain an overactive bladder. 

  • Surgery 

Your doctor might propose a surgery, if other methods of managing incontinence is not working. 

  • Urinary Catheter 

Your doctor might propose that you use a urinary catheter (a tube to collect urine with a drainage bag) to manage the incontinence. 

References: 

[1] HealthHub (23 April 2019). Urinary Incontinence. Retrieved from https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/55/topics_urinary_incontinence#4

[2] SingHealth (12 December 2018). Urinary Incontinence. Retrieved from https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/urinary-incontinence

[3] How, C. H., & Quah, H. M. (2013). Managing urinary incontinence in the community. Singapore Med J, 54(8), 420-424. Retrieved from http://www.smj.org.sg/sites/default/files/5408/5408practice1.pdf

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