Urinary incontinence is a very common problem experienced by women and men of all ages. It can be attributed to various factors such as aging, pregnancy, childbirth, surgery and infections. If left untreated, it can also induce severe health complications such as urinary tract infections, back and rib pain and vaginal prolapse.
Urinary incontinence is a common problem that affects women and men of all ages. About 50% women and 11% men suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. In Singapore, about 20% of the women and 14% of the men suffer from incontinence during their lifetime.
In this article, we will be discussing the causes of urinary incontinence in Singapore, its symptoms and how to treat it. We will also discuss the various options available to women suffering from this condition so that they can enjoy a normal life without all these embarrassing incidents.
Causes of urinary incontinence
There are several reasons as to why incontinence occurs. The following are the most common causes:
As we all know, as we grow older, our bodies tend to lose elasticity and adaptability. Over time, the tissues in our body weaken. This is especially the case with our urinary system, which is why older women are more likely to suffer from incontinence than younger women.
The pelvic floor muscles of women who are pregnant tend to weaken and let go of their elasticity more than those who are not pregnant. This is why they experience incontinence as compared to those who are not pregnant.
Smoking affects the bladder and urethra, making it more prone to urinary tract infections. This is why pregnant women who smoke are more likely to experience urinary incontinence than those who do not.
Upper body injuries
If you suffer from an upper body injury like a fracture or surgery, it can damage the bladder neck and surrounding tissues. As a result, you will experience urinary incontinence.
Failing to relieve stress is another common cause of urinary incontinence in Singapore. Stress can increase your levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and make them more prone to incontinence.
Types of urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be mild or severe. It is also classified into different types such as stress urinary incontinence, overactive bladder and urge urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence
Women who experience stress incontinence may leak urine while laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy objects. They may also leak urine when they strain to have a bowel movement or during sexual intercourse.
Overactive bladder is the most common type of urinary incontinence among women and men who suffer from the condition. It is also known as “incomplete bladder emptying.” Women who experience this type of incontinence may leak urine even when they try to hold it for a long period of time.
Urge urinary incontinence
Urge incontinence is characterized by sudden, uncontrollable and strong urges to urinate. These urges may be triggered by stress, coughing, laughing or even sexual arousal.
What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
Many women and men suffer from incontinence without realizing it. This is why it is considered a silent disease. However, there are several symptoms that can help you to diagnose this condition.
The following are some of the symptoms of incontinence.
Feelings of incomplete emptying
This is the most common symptom of urinary incontinence. It can be experienced when you are standing or sitting. You may feel that something is stuck in your bladder, even when you urinate.
Leaking urine is another common symptom of incontinence. It can be experienced if you have to pass urine urgently, or after you cough or sneeze. You will notice that you urinate more than usual.
This is another common symptom of incontinence. It can be experienced if you have to pass urine urgently or after coughing or sneezing. You will notice that urination feels extremely painful.
Urgent urges to urinate are another common symptom of incontinence. You may feel that you feel the urge to urinate at any time, or even when you do not need to urinate.
Lower back pain
This is another common symptom of incontinence. You may experience lower back pain after urinating. Even if you do not have a full bladder, it will be uncomfortable to walk because of this pain in your lower back.
Prevention tips for urinary incontinence
There are several ways that can help prevent urinary incontinence.
Try to avoid those situations that trigger incontinence. Such as smoking, wearing tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes, walking for long periods of time, etc.
The following are some ways which can help in preventing incontinence.
Drink plenty of water to prevent urinary incontinence.
Take a warm bath
This will help relax your muscles and bladder neck which will effectively reduce the chances of incontinence.
Have a balanced diet
A balanced diet containing plenty of water-rich food will help keep your body hydrated and help maintain your health.
Avoid foods and drinks that can irritate your bladder and cause leakage Some of them include caffeine, alcohol, citrus fruits and spicy foods.
Eat fiber-rich foods like nuts, fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in fiber, which helps to keep your pelvic muscles tight and your bladder healthy.
Wear loose-fitting clothes
Loose-fitting clothes are ideal for preventing urinary incontinence.
Try to wear a pelvic support
This is a simple device that you can wear on your lower abdomen to support your bladder and prevent incontinence. You can find a pelvic support at pharmacies like Guardian or Watsons.
If you need more proactive support, you can consider buying incontinence adult diapers. There are several brands on the market that make adult diapers for incontinence. You can easily find them at supermarkets like NTUC or at local pharmacies.
In conclusion, urinary incontinence in Singapore affects many women and men as evidenced from above. If you are one of them, it’s time to seek medical help so that you can avoid the embarrassing situations that may occur when you are out in public or during intimate moments with your partner.
In Singapore, you can easily find a doctor in the local polyclinic near you. You may also find a doctor that specializes in urogynecology at one of the prominent hospitals such as Singapore General Hospital. Remember that there are many support devices and tools that can help you to cope and manage urinary incontinence so that you can continue to live your lifestyle without worrying about these embarrassing incidents.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! Check out our other blog articles for more additional information on eldercare in Singapore.