Urinary Incontinence in Adults. The involuntary loss of urine is known as urinary incontinence. Incontinence can affect people of all ages of any age, but it is more frequent in older adults living, affecting approximately 30% of older women and 15% of older men. Although incontinence is increasingly common among the elderly, it is not a natural feature of the aging process. Incontinence can be abrupt and fleeting, such as when a person is taking a diuretic medicine, or it can be long-term (chronic). Even persistent incontinence can be alleviated on occasion.
Types of Incontinence
Urine leakage (of moderate to large volume) occurs as a result of an intense, irresistible urge to urinate. Getting up in the middle of the night to urinate (nocturia) and nocturnal incontinence are both common.
Urine leaks as a result of sudden intra-abdominal pressure increases (for example, those that occur with coughing, sneezing, laughing, bending, or lifting). The volume of leakage is usually low to moderate.
Dribbling pee from an overflowing bladder Leak can be persistent, even if the volume is little, resulting in large overall losses.
Urine loss due to an issue with thinking or a physical handicap unrelated to urinary control. For example, a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may be unable to detect the urge to urinate or locate the nearest toilet. Bedridden people may not be able to walk to the toilet or access a bedpan.
However, many people suffer from multiple types of incontinence. People with mixed incontinence are labeled as such.
Causes Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors. More than one mechanism is frequently present:
- The urinary sphincter or pelvic muscles are weak (called bladder outlet incompetence)
- Something is obstructing the bladder’s pee outflow passage (called bladder outlet obstruction)
- The bladder wall muscles spasm or becomes hyperactive (sometimes called overactive bladder)
- The bladder wall muscles are weak or underactive.
- The bladder wall muscles and the urine sphincter are out of sync.
- An increase in the amount of urine produced
- Problems with functionality
Inability to urinate can be caused by bladder wall muscle weakness or underactivity, bladder outlet obstruction, or both (urinary retention). Because of leaking from an overly full bladder, urinary retention can lead to overflow incontinence.
Increased urine volume (due to diabetes, diuretics, or excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages, for example) might increase the amount of urine lost to incontinence, provoke an episode of incontinence, or even induce temporary incontinence to develop. It should not, however, result in chronic incontinence. People who are incontinent frequently lose more urine as a result of functional issues. Functional issues, on the other hand, are rarely the only cause of lifelong incontinence.
The most common causes of incontinence are as follows:
- Children and young adults with an overactive bladder
- As a result of childbirth, women’s pelvic muscles weaken.
- Obstruction of the bladder outflow in middle-aged males
- In elderly persons, functional problems such as stroke and dementia are common.
Essentials for the Elderly
Although incontinence is increasingly common among the elderly, it is not a natural feature of the aging process.
Bladder capacity decreases with age, as does the ability to avoid peeing. Involuntary bladder contractions become more often, and bladder contractions weaken. As a result, postponing urinating becomes more difficult, and urine tends to be incomplete. Incontinence is caused by the weakening of the pelvic muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. Reduced estrogen levels in postmenopausal women cause atrophic urethritis and atrophic vaginitis, as well as a weakening of the urethral sphincter. The prostate grows larger in males, partially blocking the urethra and causing incomplete bladder emptying as well as tension on the bladder muscle. These changes occur in many healthy, elderly people and may make incontinence easier to manage, but they do not cause it.