7 Facts and Myths about incontinence

7 Facts and Myths about incontinence

According to the studies done, at least 25% to 45% of people will be affected throughout their lives by enuresis, but known as urinary incontinence. Taking into account different factors such as countries and ages.

1. Does incontinence affect women more?

Fact. According to the Portuguese Association of Urology and the Portuguese Association of Neuroulogy and Urogynecology it affects 33% of women and 16% of men.

- Due to several points women end up being more affected, either because their urethral canal is shorter, or during pregnancy, where the bladder suffers pressure or in childbirth where it can suffer damage to the muscles. The fall in oestrogen during the menopause can alter the tissues and muscles of the pelvic floor.

2. Does urinary incontinence only affect older people?

Myth: Although the risk increases with age, anyone can experience symptoms of enuresis.

- Although it is more common in older people due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, changes in hormones and increased incidence of medical conditions. Urine leakage can also affect pregnant women, even after childbirth, people with underlying health conditions such as neurological diseases or obesity. There are different types of incontinence, with different causes, regardless of age.

3. Is it normal to lose urine from time to time?

Myth: Involuntary urine loss after the age of 5 should be considered a medical problem, which in most cases can be solved.

- Involuntary leakage of urine is one of the first symptoms to manifest itself, after which we should seek help. Although the problem does not cause harm to physical integrity, it causes embarrassment and in some cases entrapment.

4. Can urinary infections cause urinary incontinence?

Fact. Repeated infections can cause incontinence by making the bladder sensitive.

- Infection happens when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection in the bladder, urethra or kidneys, which can lead to increased frequency, pain and urgency of urination. In some cases infections can cause irritation and inflammation in the bladder, affecting its function, resulting in temporary urinary incontinence, improving after treatment of the infection.

5. Is urinary incontinence ever curable?

Myth: There are currently several treatments, from medication to rehabilitation techniques to surgery.

- Enuresis can be treated and in many cases it is possible to achieve significant improvement or even a complete cure. The success of treatment ultimately depends on several factors, including the cause, the severity of symptoms and adherence to treatment. There are several treatments, requiring an assessment by a professional, in order to be assigned the best for each case.

6. Is it not possible to treat urinary incontinence at older ages?

Myth: age is not a contraindication to treatment. In this age group, incontinence is usually multifactorial, so the approach should be as well.

- The treatment of involuntary leakage of urine in advanced age generally involves similar approaches to those used in other ages. However, it is necessary to keep in mind the individual needs, coexisting medical conditions and functional capacity of the patient when developing a treatment plan.

7. Should I reduce my coffee and alcohol consumption if I have urinary incontinence?

Fact. There are drinks and foods that affect the most sensitive bladders, reinforcing the feeling of urgency to urinate.

- Both coffee and alcohol have diuretic effects, which means they increase urine production and can increase frequency as well. Coffee contains caffeine, which can irritate the bladder and cause increased urinary urgency, while alcohol can interfere with normal bladder function and the nerve signals that control urination.