We hear the word “incontinence” thrown around a lot, but what is urinary incontinence and how do you know if you’re experiencing it? Let’s break it down.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. It’s super common yet can be the source of shame, embarrassment and even depression for anyone experiencing it. Incontinence can range from having occasional leakage while doing everyday things, like exercising or even just laughing, to suddenly having an urge to urinate that’s so strong that you simply can’t hold it any longer and you completely lose control of your bladder. Though urinary incontinence largely affects people as they age, it can happen to anyone.
What Does Incontinence Feel Like?
According to the American Urological Association, more than 30% of females aged 30-60 are thought to suffer from urinary incontinence, compared to 1.5-5% of men.
But why? Well, the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, which means that any weakness or damage to the urethra is more likely to cause urinary incontinence since there’s less muscle holding the urine.
Most people might experience occasional bladder leakage, while it might be more common for others. There are various types of urinary incontinence, such as:
- Urge Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when you experience a sudden, super strong urge to urinate followed by a loss of urine.
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): This type of incontinence occurs when you exert pressure on your bladder by doing everyday things like coughing, sneezing, or jumping and experience small leaks of urine.
- Overflow Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when you experience frequent dribbling of urine because your bladder won’t totally empty.
- Functional Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs due to a physical or cognitive impairment, such as arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease.
- Mixed Incontinence: This type of incontinence is a mixed bag, where you might be experiencing more than one type of urinary incontinence.
What Causes Incontinence?
You might be asking yourself what you’ve done that caused your incontinence and the answer is that there is no one answer. Urinary incontinence can be caused by everyday habits, as well as various medical conditions or physical problems. However, there are a few conditions that can bring on incontinence, such as:
- Pregnancy: This is a biggie. Hormonal changes coupled with increased weight of the fetus and tremendous bladder pressure over the course of 9 months can often lead to Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).
- Childbirth: Like pregnancy, the actual experience of having a baby can weaken pelvic floor muscles, which are necessary for bladder control. As well as this, childbirth can damage bladder nerves and supportive tissue, which can lead to a dropped pelvic floor, AKA prolapse, where the bladder, uterus, rectum or even small intestine can push down into the vagina. This also leads to incontinence.
- Aging: It’s not a done deal that you will experience incontinence as you age, but as your bladder muscle ages, it can decrease its capacity to store urine. Involuntary bladder contractions also become more frequent as you age.
- Menopause: During and after menopause, women produce less estrogen, the hormone responsible for the health of the bladder and urethra. This can lead to incontinence.
- Prostate issues: In older men, incontinence can stem from an enlarged prostate gland. SUI or urge incontinence can also be associated with prostate cancer.
- Obstruction: A tumor along your urinary tract can block the normal flow or urine and lead to overflow incontinence.
- Neurological Disorders: Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke and spinal injuries can interfere with your nerve signals, which can lead to incontinence.
If you’re experiencing any kind of incontinence, odds are it’s starting to affect your quality of life. Fortunately, INNOVO is here to get you back on the path to leak free living. In as little as 12 short weeks, INNOVO can solve your stress urinary incontinence issues by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and delivering 180 perfect Kegels per session. That’s a lot of toning, all from the comfort of your own home and on your own time.
How Can You Treat Incontinence?
There are a few ways to treat incontinence, but ultimately by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, you’ll get at the root cause of the issue. While some people may opt to merely manage their incontinence with pads or leak-proof underwear, that can be a costly, lose-lose endeavor as you’ll never really solve the problem and get back to living leak-free. Kegel exercises are a surefire way to prevent leakage, and we outline various kegel workouts below.
Manual Pelvic Floor Exercises
Manual pelvic floor exercises occur when you lift and release the pelvic floor muscles all by yourself. You can do this in a number of ways, most commonly by tightening the muscles like you’re stopping your urine mid-stream until you feel your muscles lift. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax and release. Check out our guide on how to do pelvic floor exercises for more information.
Biofeedback Probe Device
This device is geared towards helping you locate and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by monitoring your movements with an app or system. It then reports how much pressure you’re giving the probe when its inserted vaginally and you begin contracting your pelvic floor.
A biofeedback probe device is generally used to help you locate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They are commonly connected to an app or other system which shows how much pressure the pelvic floor muscle is exerting onto the probe when contracting the pelvic floor. You insert the device vaginally, then contract the pelvic floor muscles down on to the device which then feeds back data about pelvic floor strength into a connected app or other systems.
Probe Based Pelvic Floor Exerciser
These devices deliver electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to your pelvic floor muscles via a probe that’s inserted vaginally or via the rectum. Once inside, they’ll stimulate the pelvic floor, which can result in a muscle contraction. The goal being that the muscles regenerate with continued use.
INNOVO Pelvic Floor Exerciser
INNOVO is a best-in-class, one-of-a-kind exerciser that’s safe, clinically-proven, non-invasive and eliminates stress urinary incontinence. Plus, you’ll get 180 Kegels delivered right to your pelvic floor muscles with every use. Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week over 12 weeks has been proven to treat bladder weakness - delivering results in as little as 4 weeks.
Incontinence is the loss of bladder control. It’s a serious issue affecting 1 in 3 women. There are many types of incontinence and many conditions that can lead to experiencing incontinence. Incontinence doesn’t have to be a life sentence. To treat stress urinary incontinence, use INNOVO for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 12 week. 87% of women are dry or nearly dry after 12 weeks of use, and 80% see significant results in just 4 weeks.