Urinary incontinence is an important health problem for women. It is such a problem that today, approximately 1 out of every 5 women is faced with urinary incontinence at any time in their life, and in half of them, urinary incontinence is severe enough to disrupt the woman’s daily, social and sexual life. Contrary to popular belief, urinary incontinence is not a normal consequence of the aging process.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is defined as the sudden and involuntary outflow of urine from the urinary tract during routine work in a woman’s daily life. Uncontrolled urinary incontinence causes significant social and hygienic problems in women.
What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Urinary Incontinence in Women?
Advancing age:As a result of the decrease in female hormones with menopause, the supporting tissues that hold the bladder, urinary canal and uterus are weakened and loosened, organ prolapses and urinary incontinence increase.
Birth:Multiple births, large babies and difficult births are the most common causes of urinary incontinence in women.
Obesity:Overweight women have high intra-abdominal pressure and urinary incontinence is more common in them.
Hereditary causes:Some women have weaker connective and support tissues than others, and these women are more prone to incontinence.
Past uterine surgery
How Does Urinary Incontinence Occur?
Urinary incontinence is mainly examined in 3 main groups;
Stress Incontinence: It is a type of urinary incontinence due to muscle nerve weakness. This type of urinary incontinence is more common in women who have given birth and is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women. Urinary incontinence that occurs when laughing, sneezing or coughing is the most common complaint of women. Multiple births, difficult births, being overweight and menopause are the most responsible causes of stress incontinence.
Urinary urgency (urinary urgency) incontinence: It is a type of urinary incontinence due to uncontrollable contraction of the urinary bladder. This type of urinary incontinence is caused by excessive and untimely contraction of the bladder muscle. The picture in these women is to try to reach the toilet frequently and running and to leak a certain amount of urine before reaching the toilet.
Mixed type: Both conditions mentioned above coexist in the same patient. Patients have both stress-type urinary incontinence and urinary incontinence in the form of urgency and inability to reach.
How Does Urinary Incontinence Affect a Woman’s Life?
Urinary incontinence will of course adversely affect a woman’s quality of life. Urinary incontinence is a health problem, as well as a problem that limits social life. A woman who knows that she will leak urine unexpectedly will constantly restrict her social life and try to fit into a narrow circle as much as possible, and in severe cases, she will be confined to the house. The woman who leaks urine during sexual intercourse also starts to have sexual problems with her husband and her sex life deteriorates. Urinary incontinence, which disrupts the social, hygienic and sexual life of women, ultimately leads women to depression.
How is Urinary Incontinence Treated?
In order for the treatment to be carried out, the woman who has this problem should first consult a doctor.
First of all, detailed history, examination and tests will be required to distinguish which type of urinary incontinence is present. Once the type of urinary incontinence is distinguished, the treatment is extremely simple and satisfying. If diagnosed in the early stages, it is possible to eliminate urinary incontinence, which is a common problem for many women, even with medication and exercise.
How Successful Are Urinary Incontinence Surgeries?
The success rate of surgeries developed today, which can even be performed with local anesthesia, is 80-90%. The bladder lift operation, which was used in the past and had a very low success rate, is now abandoned. The most important factor of success is choosing the right urologist and gynecologist. This type of surgery is to be at the right address and with the right people. In centers experienced and equipped in female urology, this type of operation has a very high chance of success and a very low complication rate. First of all, it is necessary to talk to the patients for a long time before the operation and to evaluate the cases in all aspects. Physicians who perform prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery should be able to successfully perform many types of surgery. Because each patient’s sagging area, degree and urinary incontinence complaint is different, different surgeries may be required for these cases. The first operation to be performed in urinary incontinence and sagging is very important. If this operation fails, subsequent corrections will be more difficult and problematic.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Urinary Incontinence?
First, change your lifestyle. Quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing caffeinated drinks and alcohol, and staying away from certain foods play a helpful role in getting rid of urinary incontinence. In addition, it may be necessary to restrict the fluids taken in certain situations or at night, and to adjust the fluid intake at certain times within the framework of a plan. The most important prevention method is to do sports and to regulate the hormones in the postmenopausal period. Being a woman is the most important risk factor for urinary incontinence, and the biggest mistake to be made today is not to seek treatment for this problem.