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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is involuntary leakage of urine. Even though it can occur at any age, it is more common in older ages. Urinary incontinence can be seen in both genders, but it is more common in women.

Why Is Urinary Incontinence Important?

Even though it is not a life-threatening problem, it negatively affects the quality of life in social and sexual aspects and it can cause psychological problems. It can also cause vaginal infections due to constant dampness and using sanitary pads. Treating this condition that negatively affects sexual interactions of sexually active women is highly important. Women who gave birth and who are elderly believe that this condition is inevitable. However, thanks to the advancements in the diagnosis and treatment methods, it is a health condition that is possible to treat regardless of the patient’s age.

What Are the Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Stress incontinence: It is type of urinary incontinence due to increased intraabdominal pressure during laughing, sneezing, coughing and heavy lifting. It occurs as a result of the weakening of anatomical support structures of the bladder neck and urethra.

Urge incontinence: In this type, patients feel a sudden urge to urinate and incontinence occurs before the patient reaches the toilet. It is commonly observed in the form of increased frequency of urination during the day and urinating more than once during the night.

Mixed incontinence: Both types occur simultaneously.

What Are the Causes of Urinary Incontinence?

Pregnancy and giving birth: Stress incontinence is more common in women who have given vaginal birth, especially with fetal macrosomia and prolonged second phase (active phase) of the birth.

Smoking: It increases the risk by 2-3x. Smoking increases the possibility of urinary incontinence due to its anti-estrogenic effects and due to coughing.

Dietary Habits: Urge incontinence is seen more often in people who consume diuretics such as tea, coffee or coke.

Systemic and Neurological Disorders: Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injuries are among the factors that cause urinary incontinence.

Obesity and Chronic Constipation: Obesity increases intra-abdominal pressure and constant straining due to constipation weakens the pelvic floor muscles.

Menopause: Due to lower estrogen levels during menopause, muscular structures become weaker.

Treatment of Urinary Incontinence

Dietary and Lifestyle Habits, Medical Treatments, Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises, Electrical Stimulation, Magnetic Chair and Surgical Treatments are some of the options. Depending on the type of the incontinence, treatment methods can be used individually or as a combination.

Surgical treatment is considered as the primary treatment method for stress incontinence. With this type of suspension surgeries, which are called TVT or TOT, 90-95% improvement in urinary incontinence is obtained within 20 minutes.