Stress Incontinence in Women – A Brief Overview
Urinary Incontinence is the inability to control the passage of urine resulting in the leakage of a few drops or large spurts.
The urine problem in women is twice as common as in men, and this applies to almost all age groups. The reason is partly the way the organs in the lower abdomen (urinary bladder, urinary passage or urethra, etc.) and even the external opening are structured. More importantly, the female of the human species has to undergo a much greater strain through events such as pregnancy and childbirth. These can result in medium-term or long-term weakness in the muscles of the lower abdomen, which can lead to urine problems in females.
Female urinary incontinence is usually stress urinary incontinence.
What is Stress Incontinence?
Stress urinary incontinence is an involuntary release of urine without any urge, a health condition that’s more common among women, especially mothers. The muscles of the urethra and the tube that conducts urine out of the bladder are responsible for closing the bladder outlet, to keep the urine within. But, when these muscles don’t work well enough, there will be an unintentional release of urine, which is termed as stress incontinence.
One can manage the incontinence episodes with adult diapers, Kegel exercises, and bladder training. However, whether it is treatable or not depends entirely on the root cause.
Why Are Women Are A Heightened Risk of Succumbing to Stress Incontinence?
Stress incontinence essentially occurs due to fatigue or laxation of muscles or organs in the pelvic area. This is more common in women than in men due to regular biological processes such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.
Let us explain further:
Besides, they need to carry a growing baby for the full term of nine months, which can cause the muscles of the pelvis (the lower part of the abdomen) to become weaker than normal, particularly in someone who has already had two-three children before.
This is because the normal process of childbirth is extremely strenuous for the pelvic muscles, even more so, if the labour has been difficult or prolonged. At times, the obstetrician makes a small incision in the vaginal area to enable the baby to come out through the normal birth passage. This is known as episiotomy, and is often applied to avoid a forceps delivery. Though the incision is repaired and heals in a normal fashion, this takes time, and during the period of healing, the doctor may advise you not to strain for urine. The only solution is to go to the toilet more often or to manage temporary incontinence with adult incontinence diapers.
In women who are compelled to go through this process a number of times, which used to be a common thing in our country, even a generation ago, the pelvic floor muscles never regain their earlier strength. The consequence is the inability to hold their urine. We, at Friends’ Adult Diapers, have the best adult diapers available in our online collection. So, if you want to keep your incontinence episodes under control, you can order adult diapers online and start using them for a more relaxed time until it gets treated by your doctor.
As women cross the age of 50, and move towards menopause, all their muscles, including those in the lower abdomen, become weaker. It must, however, be emphasized that this is part of the normal process of aging, and has no direct connection with the onset of menopause. Hence, the age-related incontinence may actually be seen several years after menopause, which one can manage with adult diapers. But in some of these women, though not all, any severe abdominal strain such as a chronic cough, or a prolonged bout of laughter could result in a few drops trickling onto the clothes.
If that is the case, a perfectly acceptable remedy is disposable underwear or adult diaper, along with special exercises to improve the strength of the abdominal muscles. Pant diapers are now increasingly soft, thin and made just like underwear. They are certainly the easiest and best remedies for urinary incontinence in women.
The one thing that one should not do in such circumstances is to avoid going out or receiving visitors for fear of being embarrassed
Other related issues that lead to urine leakage in women are:
Weight Issues - Women who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing stress incontinence, because excess body fat exerts increased pressure on the urinary bladder, resulting in leakage.
Post Menopause changes - After menopause, women experience a decline in estrogen, which is responsible for keeping the urethra in good health. Therefore, a low estrogen level affects the ability of the urethra to close the bladder outlet and hold in urine. Friends Adult Diapers offer comfy, highly effective adult diapers for women. So, if you or your family member or friend wants to manage your incontinence episodes the right way, check out our collection of adult diaper pants.
When Women With Stress Incontinence Should Seek Medical Attention?
While the urine problem in female patients is a common occurrence, it remains largely ignored and unspoken about. Several women try managing it for days and months without seeking the help of their family or consulting a doctor. Women stop moving out of the house, avoid attending their favourite celebrations, close themselves in a room and stop speaking to people due to the “fear of being found out”. Stress incontinence causes skin infections, UTIs, weight loss, sleeplessness and the loss of mental health.
If it is impossible for you to manage incontinence by yourself, or using an adult diaper it is recommended that you reach out to a doctor. The doctor may recommend various surgical methods to treat or control incontinence such as urethral bulking agents, sling procedures, and tape procedures. However, surgery is generally recommended only when non-surgical treatments haven’t produced the intended result.
Healthy Ways for Managing Stress Incontinence Like A Pro
Some non-surgical treatments for stress urinary continence include:
Lifestyle Changes - To begin with, it’s important to quit smoking or drinking alcohol as well as avoid artificially sweetened/ carbonated drinks. Smoking often causes coughing, which results in urine leakage. Besides, the nicotine present in cigarettes can irritate one’s bladder muscles, which is also the case with alcohol and fizzy drinks.
Healthy Diet - Avoid spicy and acidic foods like orange, lemon, and grapefruit, as they can irritate the bladder and cause urinary urgency. Instead, eat more high-fibre foods like vegetables, salads, veg soups, fruits like apples, berries and avocado, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Adding more fibre to the diet will lead to weight loss and reduce constipation. People often strain to pass hardened stools, and this can make urine leakage even worse.
Weight Reduction - Being overweight increases the pressure on the pelvic muscles and cause urinary incontinence. Therefore, losing weight is another way to overcome stress urinary incontinence in women. In many cases, losing excess weight might even solve the issue completely to a large extent.
Physical Therapy - Mothers with stress urinary continence can also avail of pelvic floor muscle training, provided by expert physiotherapists. These therapists teach people with urinary incontinence how to contract and relax the pelvic muscles and improve their functioning. The duration of the training might vary from person to person. Typically, a muscle training program consists of at least eight muscle contractions, performed three times a day, for a period of up to three months.
Kegel Exercises – A subset of the previous suggestion, Kegel exercises are quick routines to help tighten the pelvic muscles. All one has to do is to lie down on a surface and flex one’s pelvic muscles. The longer you squeeze them, the better. Ten reps of 10 seconds each is more than enough to help quicken your recovery. As kegel exercises may worsen the urge to urinate, it is best to do them initially using adult diapers for women. Adult diapers for women can help provide some sort of security to sudden urination.
Timed Voiding - Training your bladder to regain urinary control can be very helpful in managing urinary incontinence. Women can use the toilet at fixed intervals, retraining their bladder to function at will, instead of waiting for a urinary urge. Adult diapers for women can help extend bathroom breaks from every 30 minutes to every few hours by providing certain security against sudden leaks.
Electrical Stimulation - There are many devices available (in the market) that mothers can use, to electrically stimulate the pelvic floor muscles as well as relax and tighten them. This treatment can go hand-in-hand with physical therapy; and together, they show good results in controlling stress urinary incontinence.
Medication and Devices - In certain circumstances, women may need medical intervention to help regain urinary control. Devices such as the pessary or bladder slings are inserted to help support the bladder and rectum so as to control the involuntary flow of urine.
The non-surgical treatments for stress urinary incontinence discussed above, may not hold in the urine one hundred percent of the time. There could still be some involuntary leakage, so mothers would need to keep “Insert Pads” handy. These stress incontinence pads are similar to sanitary napkins; however, they are highly absorbent, soft, and light. In addition, they do not slip, since they have adhesive tabs.
Mothers usually brush off the immensity of stress urinary incontinence and regard it as just another “normal part of their lives”. However, they should understand that it is a real health condition that they should not ignore.
Stress Urinary Incontinence – A Cost of Motherhood?
From taking a pregnancy test to holding your little baby in your arms, motherhood is truly an incredible time of transformation for every woman. Most women report various symptoms—such as fatigue, morning sickness, frequent urination and minimal weight gain—by the first eight weeks, some of which are challenging to deal with. Frequent urination is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, and as a woman’s body changes to accommodate a growing baby, to-be mothers often start experiencing urinary incontinence.
Why does this happen?
As the baby grows inside the uterus, a woman’s organs adjust to make space for it. The growth in the size of the uterus results in pressure being exerted on the urinary bladder and pelvic floor muscles, causing them to sag or weaken. Delivering the child normally, further complicates things. During labour, the woman’s hip joints loosen, cervix stretches, and as the baby passes through the vagina, the pelvic muscles, bones and ligaments also stretch.
Depending on the intensity and the duration of labour, most women take up to eight weeks to physically recover from giving birth.
As your body generates hormones to help your uterus contract, your organs too begin to feel the change. However, this may be relatively slow, with your pelvic muscles being unable to contract like before, resulting in a loss of urinary control.
As a result, nearly 50% of women experience a loss of urinary control post pregnancy, especially when lifting something heavy, laughing, sneezing or exercising.
Cutting Fluids Helps – A Common Misconception
Urinary incontinence only increases as months go by and many pregnant women are under the misconception that restricting the amount of fluids can help in cutting back the frequent bathroom trips. Drinking lesser water than is recommended can result in dehydration. This in turn leads to an increase in other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cramps and dizziness. Staying hydrated in the last trimester is crucial because dehydration can trigger premature labour.
Water helps in forming the amniotic fluid, enhances digestion and flushes out all wastes and toxins during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women must not reduce their water intake to curb urine incontinence. The use of maternity pads and underpads to manage the bladder leaks is a much safer and more viable option.
Does this last forever?
This type of incontinence experienced most commonly by new mothers is stress incontinence. This is caused when the bladder sphincter fails to function properly and ends up releasing urine at random points of time. Stress incontinence can be managed with adult diapers for women.
The loss of urinary control may also be due to the Overactive Bladder Syndrome which is caused by the muscles around the urethra experiencing sudden, intense spasms. These muscles are meant to prevent urine from leaving the body, but if overstimulated can result in a loss of urine control. OAB can also be managed with adult diapers for women.
Preparing for Incontinence and Motherhood
After giving birth, women experience postpartum bleeding also known as lochia and urinary incontinence or involuntary urine leakage. This is why they need comfortable and leak-proof supplies in their hospital bags. It is vital to know what items may be required after delivery in the hospital. Here are five must-have items that new moms need after childbirth.
Nursing pads – Nursing pads help to prevent milk leaks and relieve mothers from discomfort during feeding. It is recommended to buy soft, organic and reusable nursing pads that do not cause itchiness and pain around their tender breasts.
Supportive bra – A nursing bra comes in handy to support the extra weight of the breasts and sleep in comfortably without being too tight. Women should pack at least three to five of these because sometimes one has to stay in the hospital for longer than expected.
Overnight pads and diapers for adults - Childbirth weakens a woman’s pelvic floor muscles and can cause temporary damage to the nerves that control the urinary bladder. This causes urinary incontinence problems after delivery and overnight diapers and pads made for adults are a great solution to handle heavy bleeding and leaks. Postpartum pads and hypoallergenic diapers are essential items to carry to the hospital as they are preferred by ladies to prevent urinary tract infections or other infections to their sensitive nether regions. It also helps in keeping away the discomfort caused by accidental leaks and stains by giving long hours of protection and absorbency, especially during the night.
Comfortable panties – Since there is urine leakage and bleeding, women are made to wear mesh underwear with large hospital pads after delivery. Not many women prefer these panties and thick pads, so packing this essential is necessary. New mothers need to wear full coverage pads and ladies’ diapers to manage their incontinence. Some women prefer to wear disposable underwear while others wear pant-style overnight diapers for adults as these are easier to wear just like underwear. This relieves them from the worry of pads slipping or not staying in place and it is a more sanitary, non-messy solution. Some of these pull-on adult diapers can be washed and are reusable. It is best to pack a couple of soft and comfortable cotton panties and diapers made for ladies.
Swaddles – Although the hospital does wrap new-borns in thick swaddle cloths, it is best to carry some soft swaddle blankets from home. It is easier to hold babies when they have snuggled in a swaddle that the mother is comfortable with. It also protects the newborn against cold on the way home. It is advised to dress the baby in onesies that have zips and then wrap them in a comfortable swaddle.
It is best to prepare a checklist of items that are most needed and pack them in advance in the maternity bag. After birth, mothers have to tend to the baby’s feeding and diapering needs as well as manage themselves too, so forgetting an important item or not finding something essential at a moment’s notice can make it very difficult for them.
How Friends Diapers Can Help Women With Stress Incontinence Challenges
Friends’ custom range of products can help protect women in every stage of their pregnancy. Be it urine leakage, trickles, gushes or postpartum bleeding our products are built to help in every stage.
FRIENDS MATERNITY PADS
Friends maternity pads help in absorbing unanticipated leaks, allowing pregnant ladies to continue their everyday life without the fear of staining their clothes. Pregnant women are advised to maintain healthy body weight by walking in the fresh air and exercising regularly. This reduces the risk of complications during delivery and helps in easing back pain. However, due to urinary incontinence, many pregnant women develop a fear of going out and even when they do leave home, they may feel uneasy and reluctant to walk around or exercise.
With disposable hypoallergenic maternity pads like the Friends maternity pads providing long hours of absorbency, pregnant women can continue their exercise regime to strengthen their back muscles and also boost their mood by stepping out in fresh air. Thus, by wearing maternity pads, pregnant women can stay unworried about unwanted leakage and odours.
Sometimes, due to complications in pregnancies, many women are advised bed rest. Constant exertion from getting up to use the bathroom frequently can have an adverse impact on their baby. For such times, pregnant women should invest in underpads for the bed that have protective, waterproof layers to prevent sheets from getting ruined. These underpads are available in different sizes to fit one’s bed and stay securely in place. It is of immense help during the night when women may have to repeatedly get up to go to the bathroom, thus interfering with their sleep. By morning, most women feel fatigued and this coupled with morning sickness or constipation, can start affecting their health.
FRIENDS DIAPER PANTS
Friends diaper pants are soft, underwear style waterproof pants that can instantly soak urine spurts and give relief from leakage or stains. They can be comfortably worn under skirts, dresses or other forms of clothing, without creating a bulge. We understand how tender and raw the skin can be post pregnancy. This is why friends Diaper pants are 100% chemical free and treated with aloe vera gel that is gentle on the skin, keeps it moist and nurtured at all points of time.