Incontinence is an extremely discouraging and embarrassing condition for busy adults. Everyday activities are regularly disrupted, leaving many anxious about spending time in public places. There are, in fact, a number of incontinence conditions that result from various health issues. Learning more about the types of incontinence is the first step to finding a treatment plan.

• Stress Urinary Incontinence. Considered the most common incontinence among women, this variety often results from weakened muscles surrounding the bladder, a change in the bladder’s position, damage to the nerves that control the bladder, or, in men, a change in prostate growth. Those experiencing stress incontinence often involuntarily urinate when they cough, sneeze, exercise or lift something.

• Urge Urinary Incontinence (Overactive Bladder). Those who have a sudden and very frequent urge to urinate would be categorized under this condition. Urge incontinence usually results from nerve damage, various neurological disorders, prostate or bladder inflammations, and certain cancers. Typically, the sudden need to urinate occurs more than seven times a day or more than twice a night.

• Overflow Incontinence. When the bladder doesn’t empty entirely, it can overflow, causing urinary incontinence. Muscle weakness around the balder or a blocked urethra, among other issues, can cause this type of incontinence.

• Functional Incontinence. While there is not a specific problem with the bladder or surrounding muscles, those with functional incontinence have difficulty getting to the bathroom at the appropriate times. A physical disability or Alzheimer’s disease can result in this type of incontinence.

• Mixed Incontinence. It is very common for some adults to have a combination of incontinence issues. Most of often, mixed incontinence includes some combination of stress and urge incontinence.

• Fecal Incontinence. Some adults have difficulty controlling the passage of gas or stool. The following can cause fecal incontinence: muscle damage, nerve damage, constipation leading to fecal overflow, specific digestion conditions, and the effects of certain medications.

Dr. Charles Safely, an obstetrician and gynecologist at North Hills Hospital, encourages adults showing symptoms of incontinence to speak to their doctor immediately.

“Many adults suffer with various types of incontinence issues but are too embarrassed to discuss their condition with their physicians. It is important to remember that there are both medical and surgical options that will significantly improve a person’s quality of life,” he explains.

Dr. Safely also pointed out that women should be aware of the signs of a prolapsed uterus, which can cause incontinence, too. If women feel a bulge or detect a change in their vaginal area, they should contact their gynecologist to discuss treatment options.

North Hills Hospital is committed to assisting the community with their health concerns. If you would like to meet with a doctor to discuss your incontinence issues, please find a physician here. For information about North Hills Hospital and the services we offer, please visit our website or call (817) 255-1000.

The Basic Types of Urinary Incontinence (NAFC)
Urinary Incontinence in Women (NKUDIC)
Fecal or Bowel Incontinence (The Simon Foundation for Continence)

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