About Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It is a common problem and it is thought that more than 50 million people in the developed world may be affected.
Incontinence is a subject which many people find difficult to discuss or to seek help for. This may be due to embarrassment or cultural taboos. The onset of continence problems often causes anxiety, loss of self-esteem and confidence and can be isolating. Many elderly people believe it is part of the ageing process and that little can be done about it. This is not, in fact, the case as about 80% of urinary incontinence can be cured or improved.
It is important to consult your GP or continence specialist at the onset of symptoms to detect early diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment.
If you would like to know more about continence support via Bladder Health UK, please contact us.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence occurs when the normal process of storing and passing urine is disrupted causing involuntary leakage of urine. Some people will experience minor leaks occasionally, while others will wet their clothes. The condition can affect both men and women and can occur at any age. Women are more susceptible because of childbirth.
There are five different types of urinary incontinence
· Stress urinary incontinence
Stress incontinence occurs when the pressure in the abdomen exceeds the urethral closure pressure which results in involuntary leakage or urine.
· Urge urinary incontinence
Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder is either unstable or overactive. A sudden involuntary contraction of the bladder’s muscular wall can occur, which can give rise to urinary urgency – an urge to urinate which cannot be supressed and an involuntary loss of urine for no apparent reason.
· Mixed urinary incontinence
Mixed urinary incontinence is classified as a mixture of both stress and urge incontinence.
· Overflow urinary incontinence
More commonly experienced by men, overflow incontinence is often caused by a blockage or obstruction to the bladder outlet, such as an enlarged prostate gland, bladder stones or constipation making it impossible to empty the bladder properly.
· Functional incontinence
Some, mainly older, individuals are incontinent simply because a physical or mental impairment prevents them from reaching the toilet in time.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care (APPG Continence Care) has published its latest survey of continence care offered in the UK.
The cross-party group is headed up by Baroness Greengross OBE and is supported by numerous healthcare professionals and supported by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing.
Download 2013 APPG Continence Care Survey.