Female Urinary Incontinence — It’s More Common Than You May Think

Regardless of the cause, female urinary incontinence is an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem to have. You may find yourself avoiding social situations you would otherwise enjoy and worrying constantly about having an “episode” at work. Female urinary incontinence is quite common, and you’ll be happy to know that effective treatments are available.

Our experts at Greater Hartford Urology Group want you to live an active, healthy lifestyle. We’ve helped hundreds of people experiencing female urinary incontinence gain the confidence to live their lives without worry about urine leakage. 

Why does female urinary incontinence happen? 

There’s often an underlying medical condition in cases of female urinary incontinence. Some of the common reasons for the condition include:

Although anyone can develop urinary incontinence, it happens to women twice as often as to men. 

Women and incontinence

Experts estimate that 25-45% of women experience urinary incontinence. While you may believe that urinary incontinence only affects older women, about 40% of women between the ages of 20-39 experience some form of incontinence.

Although menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth often play a role in women’s incontinency, the fact that women have a shorter urethra than men is also part of the reason they experience it more frequently.

Being pregnant and giving birth 

About four in every 10 women experience incontinence while pregnant. Being pregnant and giving birth may weaken your bladder and pelvic floor muscles. The extra weight involved in being pregnant causes that weakening.

Giving birth may even damage the nerves that control your bladder. 

Menopause

The average age of menopause is 51. Your hormone levels fluctuate significantly during menopause. Experts believe the drop in estrogen levels may be linked to urinary incontinence.

Different types of incontinence

There are different types of incontinence, and treatment depends on what you’re experiencing. The four main types of urinary incontinence are:

The most common types women experience are urge and stress incontinence. 

Urge incontinence

Have you ever experienced a sudden and desperate urge to urinate? That may have been an instance of urge incontinence.

Urge incontinence is usually overwhelming, and you may even leak some urine before you can get to the restroom.

Sudden and uncontrollable urges to urinate can complicate your life. The fear of losing control may discourage you from doing things that you enjoy, such as socializing. 

Stress incontinence

This is the most common type of incontinence, and it’s usually due to weak pelvic floor muscles. If you have stress incontinence, you may leak urine when you sneeze, laugh, pick up a heavy object, or otherwise exert pressure on your bladder.

Treatments for female urinary incontinence 

At Greater Hartford Urology Group, our team evaluates your situation in light of your medical history, your symptoms, your overall health, and other important factors. Once we understand the underlying cause of your incontinence, we create a treatment plan. 

Your treatment may include fluid management, bladder training, or pelvic floor strengthening exercises. If these techniques don’t help, we may prescribe medications to relax your overactive bladder muscles. If your body doesn’t respond to medications or lifestyle changes, you may need surgery.

If you’re restricting yourself due to fears of leaking urine, book an appointment at one of our three locations in Hartford, Enfield, and Glastonbury, Connecticut, today. You may be surprised by the treatment we suggest and the freedom you can have. 

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