Incontinence (voluntary loss of urine from the bladder) that occurs infrequently (transiet) or failure to comprehend the need to urinate (functional).
FREQUENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Forgetting to urinate.
- Urinating at inappropriate times or places.
- Occasional problems in getting from bed to toilet in time.
- Mobility disorders.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Urinary tract infection.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Increasing age.
- Estrogen deficiency.
- History of many pregnancies.
- Spinal cord injury.
- General debilitated condition.
- Eat a normal, well-balanced diet and exercise regularly to build and maintain muscle strength.
- Learn and practice Kegel exercises before symptoms of stress incontinence begin.
Kegel exercise: The purpose is to recognize, control and develop the muscles of the pelvic floor. These are theones used to interrupt urination in mid-stream. The following exercises strengthen these muscles so you can control or relax them completely:
- To identify which muscles are involved, alternately start and stop urinating when using the toilet.
- Practice tightening and releasing these muscles while sitting, standing, walking, driving, watching TV or listening to music.
- Tighten the muscles a small amount at a time, “like an elevator going up to the 10th floor”. Then release very slowly, “one floor at a time”.
- Tighten the muscles from front to back, including the anus, as in the previous exercise.
- Practice exercise every morning, afternoon and evening. Start with 5 times each, and gradually work up to 20 or 30 each time.
If the underlying cause can be determined and treated, incontinence problems can be cured or significantly improved.
- Most likely to continue unless underlying causes can be treated.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Social isolation due to concern about embarrassment.
- Following treatment of the underlying cause, it may be necessary to rely on external devices or super-absorbent pads.
- Specially trained nurses or therapists will help a patient learn how to cope with the problem, such as scheduled voiding, prompting, and habit training.
- In some cases, incontinence will require caregiver assistance for management.
- Absorbent pads or diapers may be worn.
- Learn and practice Kegel exercises (see instructions in Preventive Measures).
Medicine usually is not necessary for this disorder, but antibiotics may be present if there is a complicating urinary tract infection.
As tolerated by physical condition.
- No diet restrictions.
- Start a weight loss program if overweight is a problem.