Could you have urinary incontinence? Know the signs and symptoms

by: Melissa A. Kay

When you gotta go, you gotta go, but for the most of us, we can thankfully wait until we reach the rest room. It's something we take for granted, but imagine if you couldn't control your urination. This condition is known as urinary incontinence, and for those suffering, the issue can be frustrating, embarrassing, uncomfortable, and debilitating.

WebMD notes two types of urinary incontinence, stress incontinence, "Involuntary release of urine, especially when you cough, sneeze, or laugh and leaking a small to moderate amount of urine," and urge incontinence, "Frequent and sudden uncontrollable need to urinate and may leak a moderate to large amount of urine, although a small amount is possible."

Mayo Clinic adds two additional types, overflow incontinence, "Where you experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn't empty completely," and functional incontinence, "When a physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough."

A combination of any or all of these types of urinary incontinence is called mixed incontinence.

Women experience urinary incontinence at much higher rates than men do. As per WebMD, "More than 13 million people in the United States -- male and female, young and old -- experience incontinence. Women experience incontinence twice as often as men. Pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference."

MedicineNet adds that, "Weak bladder muscles, overactive bladder muscles, and nerve damage may also cause urinary incontinence in women." Aging and being overweight may also play a role as risk factors, according to MayoClinic.

Sufferers may resort to wearing "adult diapers," liners, pads, and shields to absorb leakage, and MedicineNet notes treatments including, "Behavioral or nonpharmacologic treatments, like bladder training and Kegel exercises, medication, biofeedback, neuromodulation, surgery, catheterization, or a combination of these therapies."

If catheterization is the treatment option recommended, a drainage bag may become a part of the patient's everyday life. This may be a daunting prospect, as many who need one find that they have issues with strapping the bag to their body effectively.

That's where the innovative solution of Freedom Belt™ comes in to allow these people to lead normal lives with confidence and comfort. The Freedom Belt™ provides catheter patients with a brand new way to easily carry fluid drainage bags via an ultra-comfortable suspension system. Made with durable top-quality materials, it is built to last a long time and stay fluid-resistant. Freedom Belt™ allows patients to go anywhere with total comfort and dignity, is quick and easy to use, and 100% effective for use whether sitting or standing. The patient can go farther and for longer periods of time thanks to its customizable design. Learn more about this remarkable product and read an interview with one of the inventors.

Urinary incontinence is a rarely discussed condition but you are not alone. In fact, according to Phoenix Physical Therapy, "Urinary Incontinence affects 200 million people worldwide." If you are noticing signs and think you may have urinary incontinence, speak with your doctor or make an appointment with a urologist.

More from Trueself