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What Is Urinary Incontinence?

What is urinary incontinence?
What are the different types of urinary incontinence?
How many people suffer from urinary incontinence?
What kind of treatment is available?
If I think I have urinary incontinence, what should I do?
What can Vitality Medical do to help me with urinary incontinence?


Urinary incontinence is a condition in which there is uncontrollable urination. It may come out in small dribbles or as a stream. Regardless, the condition can be embarrassing and painful for patients.

What are the different types of urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence falls into two categories:
  • Stress: usually occurs during coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Generally caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or as a side-effect of surgery.
  • Urge: very sudden urges to urinate in large amounts. Can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, Parkinson's disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Mixed: a combination of the two listed above.
  • Overflow: A constant flow of urine because the bladder won't empty properly. Caused by diabetes, spinal cord injury, neurological damage, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and enlarged prostate.
  • Functional: No detectable problem with the urinary system. Linked to physical or cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's or head injury.
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How many people suffer from urinary incontinence?

About 25 million Americans have urinary incontinence. Women are twice as likely to have urinary incontinence. Tragically, because of the embarrassing nature of the condition, many people don't get help for this treatable illness.
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What kind of treatment is available?

Treatment falls into five categories:
  • Behavioral: generally used for mild incontinence. Usually involves muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises. These exercises are effective, but may be difficult for some people to do by themselves.
  • Medications: the drugs Detrol, Ditropan, Sanctura, Enablex, Vesicare, and Oxybutynin have been approved for urinary incontinence. More than likely, there will be more drugs approved in the future. These drugs inhibit the brain from sending messages that causes the leaks. Side effects include dry mouth, constipation, headache, and blurred vision. Another set of drugs, called Alpha-5 blockers, help men with enlarged prostates urinate consistently.
  • Medical devices: these devices range from implants to small electronics that use electrodes to stimulate pelvic floor muscles.
  • Surgery: usually involves reshaping of the bladder.
  • Leakage Protection: numerous incontinence protection products have been developed to protect clothing and furniture, including disposable underpads, adult diapers, briefs, pads, liners, incontinence clamps, etc.
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If I think I have urinary incontinence, what should I do?

Talk with your physician about possible treatments. Remember, urinary incontinence is a common problem and you shouldn't be afraid to talk to get help.
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What can Vitality Medical do to help me with urinary incontinence?

Vitality Medical offers catheters, urinals, and undergarments to help people handle this difficult condition. All of our products are from FDA-approved from well-known manufacturers.
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Sources
Urinary Catheter Care
MaleCare - Caring For Your Catheter
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Urinary Catheter Care

Helpful articles

Urology Channel - Overactive Bladder
EmedincineHealth - Bladder Control Problems
Urinary Incontinence: Embarrassing But Treatable
Poise - Bladder Control Basics