Stress incontinence is something that you may have heard of from a TV ad. You most likely know someone who is affected by this, or you may be dealing with it yourself. Stress incontinence symptoms include involuntary leakage and bladder control loss. This can be an embarrassing problem to deal with, especially if it becomes noticeable. But it is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually a common issue for many people. Stress incontinence is a particular type of bladder control loss resulting from activities that put pressure on your bladder and pelvic region. Some common stress incontinence causes can include –
- Physical exercise
- Sudden change in position
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sneezing or coughing
- Sexual activity
- Heavy laugher
Stress Incontinence Symptoms Can Vary in Severity
The severity of stress related incontinence can vary greatly. Some individuals experience only minor leakage when they sneeze, cough or laugh too hard. Others suffer from extreme urges to urinate and are unable to make it to the bathroom in time. So, what causes this? The risk factors that can lead to the development of stress incontinence are many and varied. Prostate issues can be a factor for men, while women who have undergone childbirth are at a higher risk than those who have not. Getting older is a common cause that affects both men and women.
Having Higher levels of Stress Because of Urinary Incontinence
Contrary to its name, stress incontinence is not actually caused by mental stress, though it can lead to increased anxiety levels. Having little control over your bladder can make everyday life a nightmare. You have to always be searching for the nearest bathroom, and your constant restroom trips can become noticeable to other people. Buying light stress incontinence products can provide a solution for many. These days, they are very discreet, and no one will know you are wearing a product to prevent unintentional urine leakage.
Can Actual Factors That Affect My Mental State Cause Stress Incontinence?
As we mentioned before, mental stress is not technically a cause of stress incontinence. However, there are some schools of thought that say mental and emotional stress can contribute indirectly to a loss of bladder control. When we are in a state of mental stress or emotional anxiety, our brains go into a fight or flight response mode, which causes stimulation of neurotransmitters. These physical reactions communicate to the body that it is time to either take action or to freeze and do nothing. This causes stimulation in the core cells of our body that can affect you physically as well as emotionally. There are studies that show that these neurological responses can cause three major factors in our body-
- Heightened reaction to pain
- Higher levels of depression
- Loss of control in the bladder
Manage Your Symptoms By Knowing What Triggers You
If you know that you will be going out for the day, plan ahead. Bring light incontinence products with you. They are so discreet now, that they can be placed in a jacket pocket or a purse. Understand your triggers as well. If lifting heavy objects causes bladder leakage, limit the weight that you carry. If vigorous physical activity triggers stress incontinence symptoms, try to do lighter physical activities. For instance, instead of a single long walk, you might try taking shorter, more frequent walks. This also prevents you from ever being too far from a familiar bathroom. If psychological symptoms enhance your condition, then try to limit your exposure to those triggers.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge and Confront The Issue
Stress incontinence can be a chronic condition. Talk to a doctor if you are having symptoms of stress incontinence. The more information you have about your condition, the less unpredictable it becomes, and the more measures you can take to prevent accidents from occurring. You can try pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the the walls of the bladder, giving you more control over bathroom urges. There are also medications out there that can help you manage your symptoms.
Just Remember, this condition is NOT uncommon and it CAN be managed. It is up to you to educate yourself. Do your research, read some articles, get advice from others. There are numerous online incontinence support groups where members can share their own experiences and solutions in a safe environment. Schedule an appointment with a doctor. Be honest, both with the doctor and with yourself, about your particular symptoms. There ARE solutions out there, you just have to go find them.