Urinary incontinence, characterized by involuntary loss of urine, affects millions of women. There are many types of female incontinence, with the most common types including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overactive bladder and functional incontinence. The best way for one to handle incontinence in women is to first determine the cause of the condition and then find treatments for the root of the problem. Some common ways to handle the condition in general include behavioral remedies, medications, the use of pads or special underwear, the use of a bedpan or the addition or renovation of a bathroom in one's home.
Stress incontinence in women is typically caused by major physical changes, such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. This type of condition is very common and usually results in urine leakage when a woman coughs, sneezes, laughs or makes other sudden movements. Most stress incontinence cases can be treated with behavioral remedies. They include Kegel exercises, going to the bathroom at regularly timed intervals and restricting the intake of certain liquids, such as alcohol, coffee and tea. Many women wear menstrual pads to prevent accidental leakage during exercise workouts.
When a woman loses a large amount of her urine immediately after feeling the urge to go or she empties her bladder while sleeping, she might be suffering from urge incontinence. This type of incontinence in women can cause emotional distress and prevent a woman from wanting to participate in normal, public activities. It is often caused by bladder contractions, a nerve-damaged bladder or certain medications, such as diuretics. It can also be a side effect of Parkinson’s disease, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis. The best ways to manage this type of condition are for a woman to talk to her doctor about her current medications and to wear incontinence panties.
Overactive bladder is caused by abnormal bladder nerves that send signals at the wrong time. The symptoms of this condition are very similar to urge incontinence. This type of incontinence in women is often treated with medications and drugs. The most common types include those from the drug class called anticholinergics. These medications work to prevent bladder spasms by relaxing the bladder muscles.
Functional incontinence in women occurs as the result of physical and mental conditions. It affects elderly women who use wheelchairs or who have limited mobility, as well as those who have Alzheimer’s disease or severe arthritis. This condition is sometimes referred to as geriatric incontinence. The best way to treat this type is for one to schedule regular restroom trips, place a bedpan in the bedroom or install night lights to make it easier to find the restroom at nighttime. Other non-invasive remedies include adding a bathroom in the home or renovating a current bathroom to fit the woman’s mobility needs.