Surprisingly there are numerous causes of incontinence, it isn’t as black and white as one would think. There are a few main causes of incontinence that range from temporary to chronic. However all causes of incontinence have one thing in common, they affect the bladder or the sphincter. Below is a comprehensive list of certain disorders/factors that can cause incontinence.
These types of infections affect the kidney, bladder, and urethra. They cause the structures to become irritated which leads to either stress or urge incontinence. If you have painful bladder spasms, the need to pee either frequently or urgently, then you may be suffering from a urinary infection. The good news is that these infections can usually be cleared up fast and easily meaning incontinence is only a temporary problem.
The rectum which is located close to the bladder shares some of the same nerves. Hard, compacted stool in your rectum can have an effect on these nerves, often causing them to become overactive. This leads to more frequent urination and incontinence.
Foods and Medications
Certain foods, drinks, and medications can stimulate your bladder leading to an increase of urine. Foods to watch out for are chocolate, chili peppers, artificial sweeteners and other foods high in spice, sugar or acid.
Drinks such as caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks can lead to a more active bladder.
Heart, blood pressure medicine and muscle relaxants also put a strain on the bladder making incontinence more frequent.
Central Nervous System Disorders
Any condition that affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) can affect the bladder and the nerves that supply it. Conditions and events like that of a stroke, Parkinson’s, diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis all affect the central nervous system. These disorders affect the nerves that are responsible for controlling the bladder. That is why often these disorders can lead to overflow or urge incontinence.
As you get older the muscles in your bladder weaken and it becomes more difficult to store urine. Weaker bladder muscles are unable to hold the urethra closed and can result in slight urine leakage.
Your pelvic muscles weaken with age and leads to more frequent involuntary bladder contractions. This causes the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom more often.
Menopause in women causes a decrease of estragon which can weaken muscles like the urethral sphincter and causes the urethra to thin out. This makes holding urine in more difficult and can lead to issues like that of stress incontinence.
Even before childbirth, during pregnancy women can suffer from incontinence. When pregnant the weight of your baby can put extra pressure on the bladder and this can lead to slight leakage and incontinence. This seems to be temporary and fixes itself after giving birth.
The act of childbirth itself puts a big strain on the muscles that support the urinary tract, with your pelvic muscles being extra vulnerable. This can lead to such conditions as a prolapsed pelvic floor, this pushes on the bladder, uterus, rectum and can lead to stress and urge incontinence.
The prostate gland is the most common cause of incontinence in men. Prostatitis or infection of the prostate can cause inflation of the prostate which causes swelling that can constrict the urethra. When the urethra is constricted it becomes harder to hold in urine which leads to overflow incontinence.
While it is common for the prostate to enlarge as men get older not all enlargement will lead to incontinence.