November is Bladder Health Awareness Month and this is the final post in my three-part series on adult urinary incontinence.
In Part One, we talked about how six in ten women who have adult incontinence (AI), feel they are living with a secret. We discussed the need to remove the stigma, perceived or otherwise, associated with AI. We learned incontinence affects many people, men and women, and should not be a taboo subject or a source of embarrassment.
In Part Two, we delved more into how, even though we have incontinence, we need to continue to live life to the fullest. AI does not define who we are and we need to continue living life to the fullest. To live your life to the fullest and be truly fearless after 50 (or at any age for that matter), it’s essential to rise up against your fear of bladder leaks and say, “It’s no big deal, I’m not alone and when I get the choice to sit it out or dance, I will always dance”.
For Part Three of this Three-Part Series, I decided to put on my nurse’s cap and tell you about the pathophysiology behind adult incontinence or urinary incontinence.
To better understand incontinence, we need to look at its’ anatomy.
“Urinary continence in the female depends on urine being stored in a receptive bladder closed by a competent sphincter mechanism. Incontinence can result from a failure of storage, i.e. detrusor instability or a failure of the sphincter mechanism leading to stress incontinence. In addition there is a complex neural control which co-ordinates urethral and bladder function to alter from storage to voiding at socially acceptable times. Although the majority achieve continence early in childhood, there are a number of insults brought to bear on the continence mechanism other than advancing age. The most notable of these is childbirth with resultant neuromuscular damage to the pelvic floor. The onset of the menopause with oestrogen deprivation and increased risk of urinary tract infection can further compromise bladder function…” (1.)
Urinary incontinence can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as prolapse, or a disease that affects your bladder or the way your body produces urine. Incontinence may also be caused by anything from pregnancy to menopause to strenuous physical activities.
In recognition of November being Bladder Health Awareness Month, let’s all work to remove the stigma and embarrassment associated with adult incontinence. Hopefully, this series has helped us all to understand that like high blood pressure; asthma; gallbladder problems; psoriasis; and arthritis, developing incontinence is something we have little to no control over.
However, what we do have control over, is how we live with it.
You do not have to live quietly with incontinence. It may be cured, treated, or at least better managed. So talk to your doctor right away about what may be causing your urinary issues and the best treatment solutions for you.
If you would like to try Always Discreet, complimentary online samples are available through this link: http://www.
- Urinary incontinence: anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
Keane, Declan P. et al. BestPractice & Research Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Volume 14, Issue 2, 207 – 226
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