Men and women take their urinary functions for granted. We spend most of our lives with the ability to control when and where we urinate. Our bladder muscles and sphincters start out strong enough to hold urine until it is appropriate to release it through the urethra. But the bladder muscles do not stay strong forever.
Old age plays a significant role in the development of stress urinary incontinence. Even the most minor stressors inflicted upon the bladder could cause urine to leak from it unintentionally. These could be everyday stressors you cannot control, such as laughing, sneezing, coughing, exercising, standing, and lifting. Even sexual intercourse can put pressure on the bladder and cause it to leak urine.
A full bladder is when stress urinary incontinence can strike you the hardest. It is difficult to hold urine inside of a full bladder when the bladder muscles are strained. If you are in a public setting, then it will be difficult to avoid the embarrassment of urine leakage in your pants. This problem happens to more men and women than you might realize. It does not discriminate against gender, race, or ethnicity.
Everyone has an equal chance of experiencing stress urinary incontinence after the age of 40. Male stress urinary incontinence is typically the result of a weak sphincter combined with the stressors discussed. The sphincter is the bladder muscle responsible for controlling the flow of urine as it leaves the bladder. If the muscle gets impacted by stress or pressure, it cannot contract and close the urethra to block the urine flow. Instead, the urethra stays open and allows urine to come out without your consent.
Male stress urinary incontinence may occur after getting prostate cancer treatment. Enlarged prostate or pelvic trauma could put pressure on the bladder and cause stress urinary incontinence too. The good news is that stress urinary incontinence is treatable and sometimes even curable. Simple changes to your diet can treat stress urinary incontinence. Stop drinking alcohol and caffeine. Limit the number of fluids you consume at once.
Female stress urinary incontinence is similar because it relates to stress and pressure put on the pelvic muscles and sphincter muscle. The difference is how it occurs in women. While men usually get stress urinary incontinence from an enlarged prostate, women typically get stress urinary incontinence from pregnancy and childbirth. Delivering a baby stretches out the pelvic muscles severely.
Do you ever notice how pregnancy coaches tell pregnant women to perform pelvic floor muscle exercises? They do that for a reason. Not only does it make childbirth less painful, but it also helps women recover from childbirth faster. It reduces their chances of developing stress urinary incontinence during and after their pregnancy.
Lessons to Remember
Stress urinary incontinence is common amongst men and women, but usually for different reasons. Don’t self-diagnose and self-treat your stress urinary incontinence because it is an elaborate problem that requires a licensed urologist to treat the symptoms.
There is no telling how long the problem will persist, even after professional medical treatments are applied. The best thing you can do is follow the advice of your urologist. If you’re still worried about urine leakage, try drinking smaller amounts of liquid. Then you can avoid getting a full bladder and having this problem persist throughout the day.
Other words of advice would be to lose weight, stop smoking and stop consuming caffeine and alcohol. If you regularly perform high-impact activities, try to reduce the intensity of these activities. See if that reduces the symptoms. Discuss all these ideas with your urologist. They may tell you which lifestyle change could help the most.