Did you know that urinary incontinence is the leading cause for admission to nursing homes?
Weakened pelvic muscles cause the most common type of incontinence, which is stress incontinence. Pelvic muscles are not exercised regularly, which causes them to be naturally weak. Also, pelvic muscles can be weakened even more during childbirth.
One easy way to improve your continence is by doing pelvic floor muscle exercises. Your pelvic muscle stretches from your front pubic bone to your tailbone in the back. This muscle supports the bladder, large intestine and the uterus. Performing this exercise regularly helps strengthen the pelvic muscle and the urethra, the tube from which the urine flows, and can lead to decreased incontinence. Strengthening the urethra enables it to stay closed during stressful activities like aerobics or a tennis match.
Follow these simple instructions:
- Pretend you are trying to stop the flow of urine you are voiding.
- To practice, you can actually stop your urine stream while you are urinating. Do not do this often as it may cause harm
- Urge – leakage that occurs when there is a sudden, uncontrollable need to urinate;
- Overflow – occurs when the bladder is inefficiently emptied, leaving large amounts of urine in the bladder;
- Functional – the most common type of incontinence found in a nursing home setting or in disabled or demented patients.
Collagen injections can also help your incontinence. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in both humans and animals. When collagen is injected into the tissues around the urethra, it adds mass to the tissue to help the urethra close tightly and prevent urine leakage.
The collagen injection is typically an outpatient procedure. The doctor will insert a cystoscope (like a telescope) into your urethra to locate the areas where the collagen should be injected. A needle then comes out of the cystoscope and injects the collagen into these areas.
After the collagen injection, most patients do not have any incontinence, and others will have a significant reduction in urine leakage. Because the body will absorb some of the collagen, you may have to have more collagen injections after a few years. Before you have the procedure done, you should have the doctor inject a small amount of the collagen into your skin to determine if you have an allergic reaction to the collagen.