Inability to control urination is known as urinary incontinence. This can vary from a small leakage to a complete passage of urine. There are several types of urinary incontinence depending upon its cause. In children this is not an abnormal thing. But if it continues into adulthood, it’s surely something to be taken care of.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Many factors together control the flow of urine. The muscles of bladder hold the bladder in place and sphincter muscles keep the urethra closed. Urine is stored within the bladder. Once the bladder is full, nerves carry signals to the brain to let the person know that its time to urinate. When signals from the brain in turn tell the bladder to pass urine, the muscles of the bladder squeeze, the circular urethral muscles (sphincter) relaxes, and urine is passed out.
Bladder control problems and urine leakage starts when there is a problem in one or more of these functions.
Weak Bladder muscles
The muscles of the bladder may become lax and weak due to childbirth, old age or other medical conditions. This either causes lack of functioning of the sphincter muscle, causing urine leak or overactive bladder.
Urinary tract infections
This may also irritate the bladder and cause leakage. This problem resolves once the infection has been treated.
When nerves controlling urine output get damaged due to conditions like diabetes, stroke, chronic alcoholism and injury to spine, it results in urine leak as these nerves send wrong signals at the wrong time that the bladder is full.
Some medications and coffee
These can cause the bladder to fill rapidly which in turn results in leakage.
Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
- Urine leakage while coughing, sneezing or laughing
- Sudden, uncontrolled urge to urinate
- Feeling of incomplete emptying of urine
- Itching and irritation around the opening through which urine comes out.
Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence
Patient is asked how long he/she has been suffering. Other previous medical history like any underlying health issues like diabetes or stroke are identified.
This helps to identify the presence or absence of urinary infections, which may be the cause of urinary incontinence.
A complete scan of the urinary system (urinary bladder, ureters and urethra) helps exclude tumors which might be compressing the bladder, causing leakage.
A thin, a long tube is inserted into the bladder through the urethra and the interior of the bladder is examined for any abnormality.
A test in which the patient is first asked to relax, then cough. It is observed if there is any leakage of urine while coughing.
Treatments for Urinary Incontinence
- Antibiotics are used to treat any underlying infections, if any. Though it does not have any curative role in treatment of urinary incontinence itself, it is used to relieve the complication, i.e. infection of the urinary tract.
- Medicines like anticholinergics, alpha blockers, etc have minor role in specific conditions like overactive bladder, BPH, etc.
If medications fail to treat the condition, which is more often than not, surgical treatment is advised. Lap Burch Colposuspension has been regarded as the Gold Standard in treating Urinary incontinence in women. It has a very high success rate .
First in Chennai
Lap Burch Colposuspension Specialists
Dr. J. S. Rajkumar
M.S., F.I.C.S., Dip. N.B. (SURG.), F.R.C.S. (ENG.), F.R.C.S. (EDIN.), F.R.C.S. (GLASGOW), F.R.C.S. (IRELAND), F.I.M.S., F.A.I.S., F.R.M.S. (LONDON), F.A.E. (GASTRO), F.A.C.G. (USA), F.I.C.A. (USA), F.I.A.G.E.S., Dip M.I.S. (FR.)
Dr. Deepa Ganesh
ADVANCE LAPAROSCOPIC GYNECOLOGIST, ROBOTIC SURGEON & COSMETIC GYNECOLOGICAL SURGEON
M.B.B.S., M.S (OBG), F.MAS, D.MAS, FICRS, Dip.MIS (GERMANY), D.ALS (FRANCE), D.ACG (USA)