The common assumption is that incontinence only affects those of an older nature or with additional needs. However, incontinence is more common than you think and affects a diverse range of people to varying degrees.
Incontinence In Women
Around two times more women are affected by incontinence when compared with men. Events such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause all have effects on the urinary tract and surrounding muscles. During these events, it’s possible for the muscles that support the urinary tract to become weak and the muscles are forced to work harder to hold urine. This extra stress on the bladder is a big cause of incontinence.
1 in 4 women over the age of 35 is affected by some sort of incontinence. That number increases to 4 out of 10 women over 65, menopause being a contributing factor to these numbers.
Women are more likely to be affected by stress incontinence than any other type of incontinence. Childbirth and pregnancy are all forms of stress incontinence.
Incontinence In Men
Men are less likely than women to suffer from incontinence, the most common type of incontinence men suffer from is overflow incontinence.
Conditions such as prostatitis or an enlarged prostate contribute to incontinence as the bladder becomes weakened and is becomes harder to hold urine in.
General Health/ Lifestyle Issues
People with poorer general health such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and those who smoke are more likely to suffer from incontinence issues.
Obesity can also lead to incontinence issues due to the pressure it puts on the urinary tract
Other diseases that affect the bladder's nerves and muscles like those of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sucraloses make incontinence problems more common.
Those with Alzheimer’s are more likely to have incontinence issues when compared with those who don’t have the disease.
Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s may not be able to react quickly to the feeling of needing to use the toilet.
They may have mobility issues and aren’t able to get to the bathroom fast enough or at all.
They may not be able to find, recognise or use the toilet. They may become confused about their surroundings and end up urinating in inappropriate places because they mistake it for a bathroom.
In more advanced cases of Alzheimer’s, the brain can’t get the proper messages to the bladder. What this means is that a person suffering from Alzheimer’s may not recognise they need to use the bathroom and urine leakage takes place.
Incontinence is an issue that isn’t reserved for only the elderly. While getting older does mean incontinence issues are more likely even younger people can be affected. There are millions of people out there who are affected by these issues so it’s important that you reach out and ask for help. Incontinence issues can be embarrassing and hard to talk about but it very important that these issues are discussed. By doing so you are able to get the help that’s required and you can begin to live your life to its fullest potential.