“I was so happy that finally at the age of 53, I would no longer need to deal with periods. Reaching menopause, I thought would be a dream. Until all the other problems started, the mental stress, low sex drive, weight gain and most recently... urine leakage. I started using sanitary pads for it, but quickly realized that it was not masking the smell of urine and it was even causing me infections and rashes. I switched to Friends Adult Diapers and Insert Pads after consulting my doctor. Life is much better now.”
- Aarti Shankar, a schoolteacher from Mumbai.
Urinary incontinence means leaking urine without your notice or/and control. Depending on the causes and symptoms you could be suffering from different types of incontinence.
Let’s talk about stress incontinence today. With stress incontinence, you leak a few drops of urine when you perform physical activities such as laughing, sneezing, running or anything that puts pressure on your bladder. The ‘stress’ in stress incontinence here stands for physical stress, or pressure.
Diagnosis and Causes of Stress Incontinence
As we mentioned above, from coughing to running, any physical activity can trigger stress incontinence. Once you suspect you have stress incontinence, keep tab of your daily urination, urine accidents, and water/fluid intake – so that you can bring this information to your doctor for a quick and proper stress incontinence diagnosis when you visit them.
Your doctor will also ask detailed questions about your general health and medical history, along with a physical examination.
Several things can contribute to stress incontinence, and women are twice as likely to suffer from stress incontinence than men. The most common cause of stress incontinence in women is pregnancy and childbirth, especially multiple vaginal deliveries. But if we are talking about men alone, then prostate (a gland located right below the bladder in men) surgery is the leading cause of stress incontinence.
Some other causes of stress incontinence include:
Smoking and chronic coughing
Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption
Surgery of the prostate, uterus, or other pelvic organs
Stress Incontinence Treatment
Stress urinary incontinence treatment varies according to the underlying cause of your incontinence.
The pelvic floor supports the organs that make urination possible, and when the pelvic floor weakens you lose control over your urination. Kegel exercises are basically pelvic floor exercises to help weakened pelvic floor muscles regain their strength again. By doing this, you can reduce and prevent urine accidents.
Kegel exercises are one of the best, if not THE best pelvic floor exercise. To perform a Kegel exercise, contract and hold the muscles you use to stop a stream of urine, or pretend you are trying not to pass gas. The muscles you are contracting are your pelvic floor muscles. Try not to move ANY other muscle during this exercise. In fact, nobody should be able to tell you are doing Kegels. That’s it. It’s that easy!
You can get help from a doctor in finding your pelvic floor muscles, and skill up with their help once you master the basics.
Stress incontinence management starts with maintaining an ideal weight. Obesity is one of the major causes of stress incontinence and losing as much as 5-10% of your overall body weight can help reduce symptoms of stress incontinence.
There are no approved official medications for treating stress incontinence, but the anti-depressant – duloxetine is sometimes used to treat stress incontinence.
Duloxetine works by interfering with certain chemicals that are used in transmitting nerve signals to muscles. This helps the muscles around the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body) to contract strongly.
But the symptoms quickly return once the medication is discontinued, and nausea is a common side effect which makes this option not-so-popular.
A vaginal pessary is a customized ring, when inserted, helps support your bladder base to prevent urine leakage during activities. This is a good option if you wish to avoid surgery.
Urethral insert is a small, tampon-like disposable device inserted into the urethra to act as a barrier to prevent leakage. Usually, urethral inserts are only used for heavy physical activities such as, tennis, lifting weights, etc. but they can be worn throughout the day.
If you have a severe case of stress incontinence and other treatments are not working, your doctor may recommend surgery. With the advancement in medical knowledge and technology, surgeries are now minimally invasive and performed on an outpatient basis in most cases; which means you’ll recover more quickly, spend less time in the hospital, and feel more comfortable while you heal.
Using Friends Adult Diapers for Stress Incontinence
If treatments don’t work for you, or you’re waiting for them to kick in, using Friends Adult Diapers can effectively boost your confidence and bring your life back to normal quicker! We, at Friends, make Adult Insert Pads specifically for those who suffer from small leaks. Our Adult Insert Pads:
Contain a super-soft top sheet.
Anti-bacterial SAP (super absorbent polymer) to lock leaks in gel form.
Leak guards to contain leaks along the thighs and prevent side trickles.
Are made for both men and women.
All our products are 100 percent sulphur, chlorine and harmful chemical fragrance-free.
Our products are treated with an anti-bacterial layer and enriched with skin soothing agents which keeps rashes, irritation and infections away.
We provide our customers with subscription services, so they are always ready for important events just as much as having fun every day!
With Friends, aapko Azadi Mubarak!
Choosing the right treatments for you should help you manage stress incontinence. Making a small change in your lifestyle, eating habits or even wearing adult diapers could help you lead a better life. Talk to your doctor and take time to discuss the pros and cons of the many treatments with your doctor before settling for one. Some people might need multiple treatments before getting rid of spills and leakage for good, but don’t let that stop you from ever reaching out for help.
FAQs about Stress Incontinence Diagnosis & Treatment
1. How do you know if you have stress incontinence?
The ‘stress’ in stress incontinence stands for physical stress or pressure, so, if you leak a little amount of urine during certain physical activities that might put pressure on your bladder – like running, sneezing, laughing, etc. – then you know you have stress incontinence.
2.Can stress urinary incontinence be cured?
While it cannot be completely cured, treatments and managing it with adult diapers can significantly reduce the effects of stress incontinence on your life. Talk with your doctor about the many treatments for stress incontinence and settle on one together.
3.At what age does stress incontinence start?
Stress incontinence can occur at any age due to various reasons such as childbirth, enlarged prostate, chronic coughing etc., but typically it is more common among people above the age of 50.
4.What is the major cause of stress incontinence?
Pregnancy and childbirth are the major causes of stress incontinence in women, and enlarged prostate or BPH is the major cause of stress incontinence in men.
5.What is the most effective treatment for stress incontinence?
There’s no such thing as THE most effective or best treatment for stress incontinence. The most effective treatment for you will depend on the causes and the severity of your incontinence. Discuss the treatment options with your doctor and choose one you both agree will be the most effective for you.