Currently, over 25 million people in North America experience urinary incontinence and it affects seniors more often. 50-84% of the elderly in long-term care facilities live with incontinence. Not being able to control your bladder or go to the bathroom when you want is frustrating.
It is important to understand what causes urinary incontinence. Many health-related factors contribute to urinary incontinence such as age and medical history. Knowing what causes this issue is the first step in treating it.
Urinary Incontinence Causes
As you get older, your body changes and along with those changes, your bladder also changes. Bladder muscles change over time, which in turn decreases the bladders capacity to hold urine. It is inevitable, the older you get, the more likely you are to become incontinent. If you suffer from age related urinary incontinence, call your doctor to talk about what solutions are available.
- Dementia: Early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia causes a person to experience incontinence issues. Due to the fact someone with dementia may not realize they need to go to the bathroom, urinary incontinence occurs.
- Alzheimer’s: A person with Alzheimer’s usually does not have control over their bladder function that causes urinary incontinence.
Health related factors are a huge contributor to incontinence. From prostate issues to menopause, urinary issues become overwhelming if you don’t know what is causing the problem.
- Urinary tract infection: Sometimes something as minor as a urinary tract infection can irritate your bladder and lead to incontinence issues such as light bladder leakage. Because your bladder is irritated, you may have a strong urge to “go” and not control the flow.
- Constipation: A lot of people do not understand that constipation causes urinary incontinence. Because the rectum sits near the bladder and shares some of the same nerves, hard, compacted stools increase the probability of incontinence.
- Prostate: The prostate is a walnut-size gland that sits between the penis and bladder. When men usually developed issues with their prostates glands such as an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, urinary issues occur.
- Pregnancy and Childbirth: During pregnancy and childbirth a lot of stress is placed on the bladder creating weak muscles or bladder stress leading to incontinence.
- Menopause and Hysterectomy: When a woman goes through menopause the production of less estrogen causes deterioration in the lining of the bladder and urethra. When these tissues are damaged, urinary incontinence occurs such as light bladder leakage. Also, women who have hysterectomies are prone to urinary incontinence due to hormonal changes along with muscle and ligament damage.
- Obstruction: Any obstruction such as a kidney stone that blocks the normal flow of urine through the urinary tract can cause incontinence.
- Neurological disorders: Your body revolves around nerves that send signals to your bladder. However, if you suffer a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, those signals get blocked. When neurological disorders interfere with nerve signals involved in bladder control, urinary incontinence occurs.
The causes of incontinence vary from a simple bladder infection to more serious issues. Regardless of the cause, always consult your doctor before self-treatment. Your urinary incontinence supplies may be covered by insurance. To see if your insurance covers the cost, complete the Qualify Through Insurance form and a representative will do all the paperwork for you!