Have you ever experienced wetting your pants because you were not able to hold your urge to urinate? Or that you wanted to control your bowel movement but just could not? It is our hope that these would never happen to us.
Not being able to ward off or control your urination is called urinary incontinence. The other type is fecal incontinence in which you are unable to control your defecation. Old people are more prone to these conditions as aging muscles lack tone and elasticity.
WHAT IS URINARY INCONTINENCE?
In urinary incontinence, we have to be familiar first with the urinary system before we could understand fully the reasons for it.
Urine is formed solely in the major excretory organ of the body which is the kidney. The other important organs of the urinary system are ureter, urinary bladder and the urethra.
We have two kidneys and both kidneys are composed of a total of almost 3 million functional units called the nephron. Each of this nephron is capable of forming urine all by itself.
When a person grows old, the functional nephrons are reduced to half of their original number. With this development, the urinary bladder also is reduced in size. This will then result to frequent urination, sometimes bacterial infection and incontinence.
There are activities that could trigger urinary incontinence; this maybe a cough, a sneeze, laugh, or strenuous physical activity. There is also the urge urinary incontinence in which there is an urgency to urinate and one could not control it.
These conditions however could be avoided by old people through constant check-ups and management by a licensed physician.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE?
One of the most common causes is after a delivery when the pelvic muscles are weakened because of straining or some other surgical procedure. This could be remedied by using the Kegel exercises. The Kegel exercise does not only strengthen the pelvic and urinary tract muscles but also improves orgasm. The muscle that is controlled when you stop the flow of urine at the middle of urination is the Kegel muscle.
You could exercise this by simulating the movement to stop urination and then holding it for a few seconds. You could increase the frequency of the exercise as you get used to it.
Abnormalities in the prostate gland (enlargement) and the vagina/urethra (drying) could lead to incontinence. This is because the function of the muscle within those areas is no longer normal.
Conditions like diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s,