Understanding Female Urinary Incontinence

An all too common problem for women is female urinary incontinence. There are different types and different causes of this problem. In simple terms, incontinence is the uncontrollable release of urine. It usually occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy weight or performing other physical activity. There are undergarments designed for individuals who suffer incontinence, and while they may be helpful during diagnosis and treatment most people would rather have the problem solved so such measures are unnecessary.

Some things that can cause frequent urination in women include cystitis (also known as a urinary tract infection,) pregnancy, certain medications, weakness of the bladder muscles, stress and a variety of other factors. One type of incontinence is called stress incontinence and happens when you sneeze or cough, for example. The urine is released when pressure is put on the bladder. This is the most commonly seen type of incontinence problem in females. Urge incontinence is different, it occurs when there is an uncontrollable urge to urinate but you are unable to reach the bathroom before urination occurs.

Mixed incontinence is a combination of these two types. It is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing any type of urinary problem so he or she can perform an evaluation and reach a diagnosis. You will be asked how often you are going to the bathroom and how much urine is being produced each time. Frequent urination in women is usually defined as going more than 8 times in 24 hours, and often women are getting up 2 or more time nightly to go to the bathroom. Regardless of what kind of incontinence you have or what the cause is determined to be, there are treatments available.

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Once your doctor or urologist determines the cause of your female urinary incontinence, he or she will recommend a course of action. This may involve medications. Commonly prescribed medications are antispasmodics like Levitra and Detrol for bladder muscle problems, and antidepressants in the tricyclic and SNRI categories for stress incontinence related to the nervous system. Sometimes medicines are unnecessary, and the patient is directed to perform certain exercises, such as Kegel exercises and biofeedback. Behavioral therapy may also be helpful in increasing the duration of time between bathroom visits. In very rare cases where malformations or tumors are present surgical intervention may be required.

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