Tuesday 28 February 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm: Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing disorder that affects millions of women each year. In the following brief post, women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm explains the most common causes of urinary leakage.

Urinary incontinence (UI) is often referred to as loss of bladder control and results in unwanted urinary leakage. While some women may inadvertently squeeze out a few drops of urine while coughing or sneezing, at its worst, urinary incontinence can happen during sexual intercourse, creating a sense of dread in the bedroom and causing great emotional distress, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

UI is most often caused by nerve and muscle control issues and is twice as common in women as in men. Many women experience mild urinary incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth. This, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, is due to pelvic floor support weakening during pregnancy and childbirth. Typically, pregnancy-related urinary incontinence resolves on its own within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.

 Marla Ahlgrimm notes that menopause is another trigger of urinary incontinence and it is suspected that a loss of estrogen may enfeeble urethral tissue.

Women as well as men succumb to other triggers of urinary incontinence including constipation, medication usage, overconsumption of alcohol and caffeine, urinary tract infection, obesity, and nerve damage.

There are six different types of UI. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that these are stress incontinence, urge incontinence, functional incontinence, mixed incontinence, transient incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Stress incontinence is the most common in women and results from physical changes due to childbirth and menopause.

Marla Ahlgrimm notes that urinary incontinence is often diagnosed based on self-reported symptoms. However, a doctor may order a bladder stress test, ultrasound, urinalysis, or other test to determine cause and severity.

Severe urinary incontinence is treated by a combination of behavioral therapy, medication, nerve stimulation, biofeedback, catheterization, and surgery, Marla Ahlgrimm concludes.


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