Involuntary loss of urine, continuous dribbling, inability to properly hold urine all account in symptoms of Urinary incontinence. It leads to a personal misery, a health and a social nuisance and is a matter of loss of productivity for an otherwise healthy individual.
Before knowing about the Urinary Incontinence, we need to know a little about Anatomy i.e structure of Urinary System.
As per American Journal of Medicine, 2006, almost half to 4/5th elderly in long term facilities suffered from urinary incontinence. The problem was more often seen in females than in males along all ages. . The US Department of Health and Human Services data estimates that approximately 13 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence.In the UK, an estimated least 3 million people - 5% of the total population - suffer from urinary incontinence. In India, a questionnaire-based survey of 2,000 women aged 30-50 in Chennai found a prevalence of about 40 per cent. (Study by GAURI ). Therefore, urinary incontinence is overall a big health issue among women and elderly population. This incontinence is different from enuresis that occurs in children.
Types of urinary incontinence
Stress Incontinence: When there is an increase in abdominal pressure eg. Sneezing, coughing, laughing and bearing weight, there is leakage of urine.
Urge Incontinence: Incontinence occurring with sudden urge to pass urine.
Mixed: A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
Functional: Neuro-urologic and lower urinary tract dysfunction leading to leakage of urine. (Spinal injury, UTI. Post surgical etc)
Any of the symptoms should always be confirmed by consulting a doctor, so that a hidden pathology is not missed.
For a successfully managed case of UI, a management plan should be tailored as per pathology, age and cause of incontinence. Role of health professional in counseling and information dissemination is vital.
Some of the General management approaches are:
Pelvic floor physiotherapy, anti-incontinence devices and sometimes surgery are indicated for Stress Incontinence. Urge incontinence requires dietary and behavioral modification, pelvic-floor exercises, and/or medications and newer surgical intervention. Overflow incontinence is treated with bladder catheterization or urinary diversion. Functional incontinence needs the treatment of the underlying cause.
Absorbent products may be used temporarily until the patient undergoes a definite treatment. Adult Pant Style diapers.
With time and experience, researches were carried out to improve the patient or consumer comfort and better design and materials are now used for Adult adsorbent pants. Now a days, the products have higher absorption, less discomfort, no soiling problems that occur accidentally and are available over the counter. A brand, Lifree has been making its mark sales in India.
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