Urinary incontinence is not something that most people feel comfortable discussing, but it’s a condition that is commonly experienced by men and women of all ages every day. There are actually several types of incontinence, one of which is called overflow incontinence. This occurs when the bladder does not fully empty during urination, and the residual urine leaks out. This urinary retention can also cause the bladder to fill more quickly than it would under normal circumstances. Urination can become more difficult to begin, and the flow of urination may become weak or slow. Overflow incontinence can also cause an individual to suffer instances of wetting the bed or find that they are constantly experiencing bladder leakage. Fortunately, overflow incontinence is one of the bladder issues that can be treated effectively when it has been diagnosed by a urogynecologist or another medical specialist.
Overflow incontinence is actually most commonly experienced by men who have an enlarged prostate, but women may also suffer from the condition.
The common causes of overflow incontinence include:
- Weakened bladder muscles, which make it more difficult to fully empty the bladder
- A blockage in the urethra, which is generally the result of a tumor, a kidney stone, swelling, scar tissue, or kinks that have been caused by pelvic organ prolapse
- An injury or damage to the nerves that control the bladder, often caused by diseases including MS, spina bifada, Parkinson’s, and diabetes; or from the use of certain medications
Go Against the Flow
To determine an effective urinary incontinence treatment, a specialist will need to know a full medical history, be made aware of any symptoms, and conduct physical exams such as a bladder stress test, catheterization, urinalysis, and ultrasound. Urodynamic testing, which can study contractions of the bladder, evaluate the pressure of the bladder, measure urine flow and leakage, and identify nerve damage, may be considered necessary if other diagnostic methods prove unclear. The most effective treatment options include medication, catheterization, or surgery to remove any existing blockages.
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