Incontinence: start your consultation
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Incontinence (or urinary incontinence) is a very common condition affecting more than 3 million people in the UK. It is possible to effectively control incontinence with certain lifestyle changes and proven treatments.
Prescription medication such as Vesicare and Detrusitol, are designed to relax the muscles in your bladder that are causing your frequent urges to urinate. If you have already been diagnosed with incontinence, you can easily get the required treatment below by starting our consultation now. If you require more information in regards to the condition, please read on.
Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine, faeces or wind. The most common type of incontinence is urinary, although bowel/faecal is estimated to affect around 1 in 20.
In terms of urinary incontinence, it is unclear how common it is in the UK as the levels and triggers of leakage can vary massively; it can be low enough to manage easily or not be noticed at all, a temporary effect caused by nervousness for others or heavy leakage that requires monitoring. Research has estimated that it affects 3-6 million people nationwide. Women are twice as likely to experience the symptoms of urinary incontinence, primarily due to childbirth, and certain lifestyle factors such as weight gain and lack of exercise can be accountable for others.
If you feel you have incontinence, you may be referred to a urinary specialist for further test to establish the type of incontinence and advice about further treatment. Alternatively, if you know you have incontinence, there are many treatments available, including the prescription medication Detrusitol and Vesicare, as well as incontinence pads and devices.
Yes, incontinence is a broad term that can be broken down into two main categories:
The most common types of incontinence is stress and urge. For more about the causes of these kinds of urinary incontinence, see below under 'What causes incontinence'.
Hereditary - Incontinence can be linked to genetics, so if a member of your family has the condition, you are more likely to have it. This doesn't mean you will definitely get the condition at any point, it just means you're at a higher risk.
Age - the older you get, the more likely you are to develop urinary incontinence, especially the elderly.
Injuries - Injuries related to your bladder can cause incontinence such as spinal cord damage.
Urinary tract infection - This is often a result of temporary incontinence, but nonetheless, can be distressing.
Depending on the type of incontinence you have will affect the triggers and causes. For example, you may find yourself leaking if you are nervous. For stress and urge, you may relate to a couple of triggers in each category...
Stress incontinence will happen when the urethra tube can't stay closed under increased pressure from the bladder. This tends to occur when your pelvic floor muscle is weak or if your urethral sphincter is damaged. Other reasons for the disorder include:
This means certain pressure can result in leakage. This includes laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising.
This form of incontinence is caused by the over-activity of the muscles in the wall of the bladder, called detrusor muscles. The reasons for this are not clear, but the disorder is possibly caused by:
In addition, some medication can cause urinary incontinence. These include:
If you are taking any of the below and believe it could be linked to urinary incontinence, contact your GP to discuss further options.
The primary symptom of incontinence is involuntary urine leakage, especially when put under sudden pressure. Depending on the type of incontinence detailed above, the below triggers may cause symptoms:
Your GP will be able to diagnosis urinary incontinence using a number of methods. You should never fear voicing these issues with a medical professional. Whilst incontinence can be embarrassing, it is extremely common and can affect anyone at any age for a number of reasons.
There are a number of ways to manage and treat incontinence from pads to prescription medicine (also referred to as antimuscarinics) that can significantly improve incontinence and your quality of life.
There are several types of prescription medication available that are clinically proven and specifically designed to relax the muscles in your bladder.
If you are experiencing incontinence, these muscles will be unstable, often contracting involuntarily, which causes urine leaks and frequent urges to urinate. By relaxing this muscle, these medicines make the bladder a more stable place, so that it can store urine effectively. Medications such as Oxybutynin, Vesicare and Detrusitol have been proven to help improve incontinence symptoms.
Not to be confused with sanitary pads that can make your skin sore and are not made with incontinence in mind, incontinence pads are more absorbent, drawing the urine away from the surface, and are available for men and women. Pads are a short-term treatment to be changed regularly that can bring you confidence, especially if you have a hectic lifestyle.
Hand-held urinals allow control over involuntary leakage by carrying the toilet with you. Whilst this suits a few with the condition, hand-held urinals can be inconvenient to carry around and aren't a popular method of treatment.
As with all conditions, surgery is only a viable option when all other treatments have been exhausted. Procedures include:
Like many urinary disorders, a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing incontinence. The most important elements to consider are:
Pelvic floor exercises - these can be very effective, especially if continued over the months. The great thing is this can be done whilst sitting at your desk or at home on the sofa.
Pilates - Pilates works be focusing on your core by stretching and strengthening those muscles associated with incontinence. For additional advice on incontinence and Pilates, the NHS Live Well articles offer great tips.
At HealthExpress, we offer Oxybutynin, Vesicare and Detrusitol to help treat urinary incontinence.
These are all clinically proven medications to help reduce discomfort. You can get the tablets at HealthExpress after completing a short medical questionnaire. This is confidential, quick, and easy to complete. Once approved by one of our UK registered doctors, your prescription will be sent directly to our UK licensed pharmacy where they will prepare your medication for next-day delivery.