Incontinence is when a patient loses their ability to control their bladder or bowels. In reality, it is a widespread issue that can range from just a small leak to a complete loss of control. It’s actually more common than you think! Luckily, incontinence can be managed. Here’s what you should know about the two types of this condition:
Poor bladder control or urinary incontinence is common with pregnancy, after childbirth, menopause or with chronic issues that range from asthma, arthritis or diabetes. Small bladder leaks happen when a patient is laughing, coughing or even exercising.
There are several different types of incontinence. The following are the most common:
- stress incontinence
- urge incontinence
- incontinence associated with chronic retention
- functional incontinence.
Urinary incontinence can be caused by many different things, but can be treated, better managed and in many cases cured completely. For this reason, it is important to talk to your doctor or a continence advisor about your symptoms.
Faecal incontinence is when a patient has difficulty controlling their bowels. It doesn’t always mean that they are passing stools at the wrong place and time. It can be anything from passing wind when you don’t mean to, or total loss of bowels.
It can be caused by:
- Weak back passage muscles from childbirth, getting older, or after surgery
- Severe diarrhea
How do you treat incontinence?
The treatment for incontinence can take time, but it is treatable!
- Bladder training, or trying to delay using the bathroom after you get the urge to go. You may start by trying to hold off for 5 minutes every time you feel an urge to urinate and build up over time. The goal is to lengthen the time between trips to the toilet until you are able to hold until only every 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
- Double voiding, or emptying your bladder more completely each time you use the restroom can help prevent accidents. Double voiding means urinating, but then waiting a few minutes and trying again.
- Scheduled toilet trips to use the restroom every two to four hours rather than waiting to go.
If you think you might be dealing with this condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist. They can help you determine what you’re dealing with. and how to best treat or manage your symptoms.