Do you have Urinary Incontinence?
The Continence Foundation of Australia defines urinary incontinence as a very common condition that can range from the occasional leakage of urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, or exercise, to the complete inability to control your bladder.
According to the Journal of Mid-Life Health, urinary incontinence occurs twice as often in women as in men, and 1 in 4 women over the age of 40 will develop urinary incontinence in their lifetime. Further, 30% of women will experience symptoms immediately after childbirth.
There are several different types of incontinence, the most common are:
Urge incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine associated with urgency – a sudden and strong need to urinate.
Stress incontinence is the leakage of small amounts of urine during activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, and lifting.
Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder completely. This may result in leaking small amounts of urine on a regular basis.
Other types of urinary incontinence can result from surgery (like a hysterectomy or prostate cancer), a prolapse, a neurological cause, a combination of two types of urinary incontinence, and several others.
As there are several different causes of urinary incontinence, a medical assessment is often indicated. If the contributing factor is weakness from the pelvic floor, a physiotherapist can assist in implementing an individualised strengthening program. This may be completed in conjunction with a ‘bladder diary’.
A physiotherapist often uses a Real Time Ultrasound to objectively assess the contraction of the pelvic floor and to assist with the correct implementation of the strengthening program. The advantage of using such is the person gets immediate visual feedback.
Women’s and Men’s Health is offered on a Monday and a Friday at Next Generation Physiotherapy located at Suite 4, 5, 6/3 Catlegate Way, Woodvale. Appointments can be made by calling 9203 7771 or online at www.ngp.net.au. It is noted that urinary incontinence can be embarrassing, in an attempt to make you feel comfortable, a 60-year-old female will be present during the consultation.