Know the Differences of Female Incontinence

female incontinenceFemale incontinence is a very common problem, and it doesn’t just affect elderly women.

While the statistic is high in women above age 60 – over 50% of women in that age group require the use of female catheters – the problem reaches every age group. Female incontinence is reported to affect 7% of women aged 20 to 39 and 17% of women 40 to 59.

Female incontinence is categorized into three types based on the cause of the incontinence. Female catheters are usually only necessary for two of those types.

Stress Incontinence

The mildest form of female incontinence is stress incontinence: this type is categorized by a few drops of urine escaping when pressure is placed on the bladder muscles. The stress can be from something as simple as coughing or laughing, or from something more strenuous like lifting a heavy weight – it’s the most common type of female incontinence and is typically the form experienced by the younger age group. Childbirth can also trigger stress incontinence since the pelvis and abdominal muscles are experiencing intense strain.

Stress incontinence does not require the use of female catheters but can be treated with medication or physical therapy. Kegel exercises are often an effective treatment, involving the contraction and relaxation of the muscles used for regulation of urine flow.

Urge Incontinence

Often called overactive bladder or OAB, urge incontinence is characterized by a strong need to urinate and a loss of bladder control. The muscle controlling urine flow almost becomes paralyzed, and urine flow cannot be inhibited.

This type of female incontinence can be triggered by an infection, muscular or neurological disease, or even a simple irritation. The latter is temporary and does not always require the use of female catheters to treat the problem, while the disease is usually degenerative and may necessitate the use of catheters for a lifetime. If the cause is an infection, female catheters may be used to relieve the symptoms for the duration of the infection. Medication and physical therapy may be useful to lessen the effects of an overactive bladder but often are not entirely successful at alleviating female incontinence completely.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is often indicative of bladder problems or neurological disease and damage. This form is characterized by an increased frequency of urination and an
inability of the bladder to empty completely during urination. More often than not, physical therapy is not successful for overflow incontinence; female catheters can be an effective form of treatment by emptying the bladder entirely. Other treatments include stimulation of the muscles for urinary control by electrical impulses: this can enhance the bladder’s ability to contract and relax normally, emptying the contents entirely. Insertion of a blockage device in the urethra can also effectively treat female incontinence.

Because of the prevalence of female incontinence, many women consider it “normal”. But whether treatment is a simple exercise or the use of a female catheter, there is no need to suffer the stresses and worries of urinary incontinence. You’re not alone, and you don’t need to suffer alone.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about the correct female catheters for your needs.

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