What are Common Causes of Incontinence and Pain?

September Gray

Some of the most common causes of urinary incontinence and pain are having given birth, aging and abdominal surgery. When pain accompanies incontinence, it could be symptomatic of various medical conditions, including a urinary tract infection, bladder stones or kidney stones. Any ailments that accompany incontinence and pain should be diagnosed and treated as promptly as possible in order to avoid further complications.

Infection in the urinary system can cause incontinence and pain.
Infection in the urinary system can cause incontinence and pain.

In some instances, medication or a Foley catheter might suffice as treatment for incontinence. Depending on the severity and cause, surgery is sometimes required. In the case of bladder paralysis, referred to as neurogenic bladder, nerve damage prevents the brain from receiving messages that the bladder needs to be emptied; the bladder muscles consequently fail. The simplest treatment for neurogenic bladder is a drug called bethanechol, which acts as a stimulant for bladder contractions. Should this drug not be effective for the patient, a self-inserted catheter is usually the next step in treatment.

A urologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diseases and conditions of the urinary system.
A urologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diseases and conditions of the urinary system.

Incontinence and pain or burning urination is most frequently the result of a urinary tract infection. The urinary system is made up of four key components, which are the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Bacterial infections are most likely to occur in the bladder or urethra and are typically treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection should not be ignored, as a long-term infection could cause kidney malfunction. Aside from painful urination, symptoms include frequent urination in small amounts, pelvic or rectal pain and odorous urine, sometimes showing traces of blood.

Aging is a common cause of incontinence and pain.
Aging is a common cause of incontinence and pain.

Another cause of incontinence and pain is kidney stones, which are hard, stone-like crystals that form in the kidneys and block urine from flowing through the urinary tract. Pain from kidney stones is often first noticed in the lower back or side. Eventually, it travels to the abdomen and pelvic area. Medication is not normally needed to treat kidney stones, as they tend to naturally pass. It is recommended, however, to drink generous amounts of water when suffering from this condition. Kidney stones can cause rather severe reactions, such as discolored urine, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Lower back pain is often a first sign of kidney stones, which can cause incontinence.
Lower back pain is often a first sign of kidney stones, which can cause incontinence.

Bladder stones, formed out of mineral deposits within the bladder, also can cause incontinence and pain. They differ from kidney stones in that they are less likely to pass on their own, and they sometimes require surgical removal. Patients might experience abdominal pain, but many times there are no warning signs. Bladder stones are usually discovered when the patient is being examined for other conditions. Both bladder and kidney stones can develop from a high dietary intake of animal fat, salt and sugar.

Hard, stone-like crystals called kidney stones are a common cause of both incontinence and pain.
Hard, stone-like crystals called kidney stones are a common cause of both incontinence and pain.
Antibiotics are frequently required to cure a bladder infection.
Antibiotics are frequently required to cure a bladder infection.

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