Urinary Incontinence

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  • 3 Answers
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    The best way to prevent urinary incontinence is to do Kegel exercises -- which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles -- since the most common cause of urinary incontinence is weak pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are easy to learn, and you can find instructions online.
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    You may be able to cure your functional urinary incontinence. This depends on what the underlying cause is. If you cannot treat your impairment, your doctor may be able to help you train or strengthen your bladder to help prevent accidents.

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    Functional urinary incontinence from depression or a similar emotional issue is rare, but it does happen. In such cases, the person does not want to go to the bathroom as a result. This is a form of functional incontinence, but you may also hear it called psychogenic incontinence. Therapy and medications may help treat this form of functional incontinence.

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    A Family Medicine, answered on behalf of
    There are three main types of urinary incontinence – stress urinary incontinence, urge incontinence and functional incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), occurs when the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and urethra weaken, allowing urine to leak when pressure is applied to those muscles, as during sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising. Urge incontinence, commonly referred to as “overactive bladder,” results from too-frequent contractions of the bladder or dysfunctional nerves signaling the need to urinate often. Functional incontinence results from cognitive impairment, as well as neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and delirium.  These three types of incontinence may be encountered at different phases of a woman’s life: Stress incontinence usually follows childbearing and childbirth; urge incontinence happens more often around menopause; and functional incontinence occurs later in life. 
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    Overflow incontinence results from failure of the bladder to empty either from intrinsic weakness, nerve injury or blockage to flow. With an overfull bladder, exertion or abdominal pressure can cause urine to spill out. Overflow incontinence can sometimes be confused with stress and urge incontinence. Proper evaluation and testing is necessary for a correct diagnosis.

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    A , Gynecology, answered
    If your bladder never completely empties, you might experience urine leakage, with or without feeling a need to go. Overflow incontinence occurs when something blocks urine from flowing normally out of the bladder, as in the case of prostate enlargement that partially closes off the urethra.

    Men are much more frequently diagnosed with overflow incontinence than women because it is often caused by prostate-related conditions. In addition to enlarged prostate, other possible causes of urine blockage include tumors, bladder stones, or scar tissue. If a woman has severe prolapse of her uterus or bladder (meaning that the organ has dropped out of its proper position), her urethra can become kinked like a garden hose that is bent on itself, interfering with the flow of urine.

    Nerve damage (from injuries, childbirth, past surgeries, or diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or shingles) and aging often prevent the bladder muscle from contracting normally. If you have a cystocele (the bladder sags into the vaginal canal) this may cause overflow incontinence because as the bladder sags, it kinks the urethra (like bending a garden hose) so the bladder cannot empty well. Medications that prevent bladder muscle contraction or that make you unaware of the urge to urinate can also result in overflow incontinence.
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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    People who suffer from overflow incontinence feel as though their bladder is never empty; they have difficulties starting to urinate and then find that their stream is very weak and that they void very little.
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    Overflow urinary incontinence may not affect the body much physically beyond the uncontrollable urge to urinate. It can cause skin rashes as a result of constantly wet skin. Perhaps more so than physically, overflow urinary incontinence can also affect a person's quality of life and well-being.
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    Medication prescribed will likely depend on the cause of the overflow incontinence. Some prescription medications, such as darifenacin, can treat incontinence by calming the bladder. Other medications, such as topical estrogen, may help strengthen and invigorate urethra and vaginal tissues, which can help incontinence. Men with prostate problems may find relief from overflow incontience with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like dutasteride. Alpha-adrenergic blockers like alfuzosin may help relax the urinary sphincter. If the walls of the bladder are weak and not contracting properly, bethanechol may help. In other cases, certain antidepressants, such as imipramine, have been shown to provide relief.
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    Overflow urinary incontinence itself is not usually serious, but it is can be a symptom of another underlying condition, which can be serious. Normally, the cause may be a less serious issue, such as constipation, a urinary tract infection, or prostate problems. In other cases, it can be a symptom of nerve damage or diabetes.