What is Incontinence?

A health article about Incontinence from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

No matter what the root cause is behind it, urinary incontinence can disrupt your life and it can begin at any stage of your life.

Men and women of all ages and even children can all experience this condition and in the event a person is in a social setting when it happens, it can cause emotional stress.   

If you’re dealing with bladder leakage, you don’t have to put up with it and it doesn’t have to keep you from doing whatever activities you want to do.

There are therapies and treatments that address the medical issues and there are products you can use to help you feel better and take care of any leakage problems whether you’re at home, the office or going on a mountain hike with friends.

Some of the common symptoms of Incontinence

Incontinence isn’t a condition that affects just the elderly.

If you thought that incontinence was the inevitable result of aging or childbearing, think again.

Simple lifestyle changes or a talk with your doctor may help you regain control of your bladder and get back to enjoying all the activities you love.

People suffer from incontinence for an average of 7 years before they ask their physicians for help, according to the National Association for Continence.

But you don’t have to suffer anymore. Learn the basics about incontinence and take control of your life.

Incontinence is a condition where you pass small amounts of urine when you don’t mean to, and anyone can be affected by it.

This can be very embarrassing when it happens in public places, and is not a topic generally discussed so there is some mystery about why it happens and what can be done to help prevent or treat it.

Men, Women, and Children can all be afflicted with it for a variety of reasons and causes that we will cover below here.

Types of Incontinence

There are different forms of this condition, but each can make you feel embarrassed and frustrated by the inconvenience of having incontinence.

** The first type of incontinence is known as stress incontinence.

This isn’t talking about emotional stress but rather a pressure that’s put on your bladder.

Many pregnant women experience a more frequent need to urinate because of the pressure of the baby on the bladder.

This same pressure in pregnant women can lead to episodes of incontinence.

This kind of incontinence can be temporary incontinence and most will go away once the baby is born.

** Functional incontinence is a type of incontinence caused by health impairments such as diseases that affect muscle control and it can also be an issue in people with mental health problems.

People with this type of incontinence may be unable to hold the urine at all or may not understand when it’s time to go to the bathroom so they end up with leakage before they make it to the bathroom.

** Urge incontinence is a form of incontinence that happens when the bladder sends a sudden signal to go to the bathroom and patients with this condition lose urine to due to a contraction in the bladder.

** Overflow incontinence is incontinence that has to do with improper emptying of the bladder.

Because you don’t empty all the way, you feel like you have to go back to the bathroom even if you just used it.

When the bladder gets full, then leakage accidents happen.

Occasionally, there are cases of mixed incontinence, which means having two different kinds of incontinence at the same time.

What sex you are can also be a factor in incontinence.

Though men also deal with this issue, women are more prone to incontinence than men because of the strain put on the body through pregnancy and childbirth.


pregnant women often experience incontinence before and after childbirth

What Causes Incontinence?

Incontinence can be caused by many things, including injuries to the pelvic area, prostate enlargement, neurological conditions, and diseases such as diabetes.

It may also be associated with physical changes due to aging or pregnancy.

Physical activities that strain the abdomen can cause urine to leak.

So can laughing because your abdominal muscles are putting pressure on the bladder.

Coughing or sudden sneezing are also forms of stress incontinence.

For women, the way the urinary system is made can make them more prone to having problems with incontinence.

Getting older and going through menopause can lead to an inability to hold urine.

So can being pregnant or going through natural childbirth because of the stress put on the pelvic floor.

Physical impairments such as diseases like multiple sclerosis can cause incontinence.

Being injured by a stroke or damage caused to the bladder can lead to incontinence.

Many women never experience incontinence until after having a hysterectomy but it can cause incontinence because the pelvic nerves can become affected.

Because of this, most surgeons will do a bladder tuck at the same time a hysterectomy is performed, but some will not.

Gaining a lot of extra weight and any condition (such as smoking) that produces a deep cough can lead to leakage.

Physical, emotional and mental stress can bring on a form of incontinence known as transient or temporary incontinence.

Heavy lifting and taking certain medications can also cause trouble holding urine.

mature couple dealing with incontinence by being active

Risk Factors: Who are Prone to Incontinence?

Experts believe that 25 million American adults experience incontinence.

It’s four to five times more likely in women, mostly due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Even without ever having been pregnant or given birth, incontinence is worse in women because of urinary tract infections, which many women experience.

Women are also the ones who tend to get mixed incontinence more often than men do.

Men can get the same type of incontinence as women but the causes are different.

Men can struggle with urine leakage because of a urethra blockage, sphincter muscle failure, diabetes and prostrate problems.

Though it’s not as common as it is in women, men can also experience leakage due to a urinary tract infection.

When children deal with this condition, the majority of the time it’s usually caused during the sleep cycle by an unawareness of the body’s signal to urinate.

Kids may not be as in tune with their body and may sleep through the signal. It can also be caused by consuming too much liquid before going to bed.

Since children’s bladders are much smaller than an adult’s, they can’t always hold the urine or make it to the toilet before an accident.

Trauma, anxiety and health problems can also cause incontinence in children.

Sometimes, kids don’t want to interrupt what they’re doing to use the bathroom and as a result, the bladder gets too full and causes leakage.

Unless it’s health related, most incontinence problems in children resolve on their own.

Simple effects of old age can also be a related cause of incontinence.


Prevention of Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when you put pressure on the bladder, like when you laugh or lift something heavy.

Overactive bladder (OAB) or urgency incontinence means you feel a need to urinate frequently and may lose urine before you can reach the bathroom.

Mixed incontinence refers to a combination of the two.

One step is to take part in Bladder Retraining.

Bladder retraining is a process in which a patient puts the bladder on a schedule.

This works by changing the amount of trips taken to the bathroom.

This treatment is considered to be a behavioral method and is not intended for people with incontinence that’s caused by diseases or some other issues.

This method works by adding to the time between bathroom breaks.

For example, if you see that you go to the bathroom every hour, push the length of time between trips to an hour and fifteen minutes.

By slowing adding to the amount of time between bathroom breaks, you can retrain your bladder to go on a schedule.

Improving your nutrition and including natural remedy foods like cranberries may also be helpful.

foods like cranberries help reduce incontinence and UTI

When To Seek Medical Attention For Incontinence

If you have persistent bladder leakage and find it hard to control your urinary flow you need to see your Doctor.

Once possible health condition could be UTI - Urinary Tract Infection - that will require a course of antibiotics.

You can also incorporate natural herbal supplements and berries such as cranberries in your diet that are proven to assist with urinary conditions.

Another issue for men may be Prostate related.

Urinary incontinence can be significantly reduced or eliminated in about 80 percent of cases.

This is great news! You may be able to enjoy a better quality of life and leave behind those embarrassing moments.

So, don't be embarrassed to seek medical assistance to remedy this condition.


Sometimes incontinence can reach a point to where you have to do more than just use incontinence products.

If Kegels exercise don’t help with the incontinence, there are various surgeries that can be performed.

And unlike years ago, many of these can be done on as an outpatient surgery.

One surgery that’s done provides a pubovaginal sling.

A sling is applied loosely that holds the urethra and then tension is put on the sling to tighten it up and it gives the urethra support.

Another surgery is called a bladder tuck and is just like it sounds.

The bladder is tucked into place using either stitches or a mesh hammock.

Nerve stimulation or sacral neuromodulation is another type of surgery that can be done to correct incontinence.

In this surgery a stimulator is implanted that can deliver an electric pulse that helps to control the urinary system.

One procedure that can be done that doesn’t require surgery and can be done as an outpatient procedure is to have the bladder injected with Botox.

The same way that Botox works as a cosmetic enhancement is also the same way it works on the bladder.

This procedure can last for up to twelve months but must be repeated and because it’s more widely known as a cosmetic procedure, you’ll have to pay all costs yourself.


1.     Start with drug therapy.

If you need more help than the suggestions above, your doctor will probably start you on prescription medications, depending on the cause of your incontinence.

OAB is often treated with drugs that block bladder contractions. You may also be advised to stop taking certain medications, including diuretics.

2.     Try electrical stimulation.

Your doctor may also recommend strengthening the nerves and muscles of your pelvic floor and bladder through mild electrical stimulation.

This is usually performed by a physical therapist or nurse specialist. Most patients say that it’s painless but you may feel some tightening or tingling.

3.     Consider surgery.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed.

There are a variety of options available, including minimally invasive same-day procedures.

There are products available that help deal with incontinence

Self Care strategies for Living with Incontinence

1.     Lose weight.

Being overweight contributes to stress incontinence. Gain weight at a healthy pace during pregnancy and lose excess pounds whenever you need to.

2.     Train your bladder.

Schedule your restroom breaks as frequently as possible. Gradually extend the time between trips if you can. Plan ahead so you use the bathroom before a long movie or job interview.

3.     Perform Kegel exercises.

Pelvic muscle exercises can dramatically strengthen your muscles and stop leakage and sudden urges. You just tighten and release your pelvic floor muscles as though you were stopping a stream of urine.

Your doctor can provide more specific instructions, or you can read about them online.

4.     Stay hydrated.

Keep drinking plenty of water. Dehydration causes additional health issues and diluted urine is gentler on your bladder. Just like with bathroom trips, you may want to time your fluid consumption to avoid disrupting important activities.

5.     Avoid irritants.

Some people get relief from OAB by cutting down on substances like caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners. It also helps to get regular exercise and eat a lot of fiber.

6.     Use absorbent products.

Incontinence pads and other devices can reduce your worries about leakage. Protect your skin by changing them at least once a day. You can shop online from the privacy of your own home and find many options to help you get the best fit.

One way to treat incontinence other than bladder retraining is by doing pelvic floor exercises otherwise known as Kegels.

The pelvic muscles are the support for your bladder. The pelvic muscles consist of tendons and connective tissue.

Among these muscles is the support for the vagina and urinary system.

When these muscles get weak, it can lead to incontinence, but performing Kegels can give strength back to those muscles.

When you stop urinating mid-stream, that’s your pelvic muscle.

Using this muscle, practice squeezing it throughout the day holding for a few seconds each time.

Work up to four times a day holding for 7-12 seconds each repetition.

As we age we are also prone to increasing incidents of incontinence, and one simple way to deal with it on a daily basis is to use convenient disposable incontinence pads.

Do Incontinence Pads Work?

Incontinence isn’t a health problem that can be easily ignored.

Leakage can happen anywhere at any time and can make you feel flustered and upset.

If it happens at work, you may have to leave work to go home and change your clothes, depending on the severity of the leakage.

It’s uncomfortable emotionally and physically. No one wants to walk around in wet underwear afraid that they’re giving off a urine scented odor.

You can take charge of an incontinence problem and end the worry over leakage through the use of incontinence pads.

These handy products remove the problems associated with incontinence and give you back your peace of mind.

They provide protection from accidental leaks and you won’t have to leave wherever you’re at to rush home to change your clothes.

Not only that, but incontinence pads have a neutralizer that takes care of the odor of urine in the event of unexpected leakage.

So you can go through your day confident in feeling your best.

These items are thin, easy to carry and come in a discreet wrapper just like a menstrual pad does - but don’t mistake them for a menstrual pad.

While these do appear to resemble a menstrual pad, there’s where the resemblance ends.

Incontinence pads are far more absorbent than a regular menstrual pad is and can handle even the heavy cases of incontinence.

Though some people have tried to use regular menstrual pads to serve as an incontinence pad, it often fails.

The reason that it fails is because menstrual pads are made to hold a different type of consistency in body fluids - and this is where many people mess up by thinking that leakage is leakage.

Menstruation is thicker than urine, and while a menstrual pad can easily handle menstruation, urine will soak right through a regular pad - whereas it doesn’t with an incontinence pad.

You can buy incontinence products that are similar in size and shape to a menstrual pad and just like a menstrual pad, the type of incontinence pad you can buy can fit your needs.

For example, if you only have small bouts of incontinence without a lot of urine loss, you can use a light incontinence pad - but if it’s a lot, then you can use one specifically made for heavy leakage.

Incontinence pads can come with or without wings and can range in lengths.

Unlike menstrual pads, though, incontinence pads can neutralize acidity.

You can also use disposable underwear designed to deal with incontinence that you use in exactly the way you are currently using your underwear, and are very discreet.

cranberry is a natural food remedy for UTI caused incontinence

Diet change strategies:

UTI infections can often be prevented by using natural remedies like cranberries, either eaten raw, drunk as juice or taken as a supplement tablet your chemist can advise you about.

Talk to your nutritional advisor about what foods you can include in your daily diet to balance your nutritional needs.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

You can visit our health food products page here: Herbalife Health Nutrition Supplements and learn more about our core nutrition program, the Cellular Nutrition Advanced Program and also check out these targeted products, Florafiber to replace your healthy flora and Aloe Vera Juice to help cleanse your system.

Also using NouriFusion Skin Essentials will clearly help provide you with excellent skincare support for your ‘outer nutrition’.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

Herbal based supplements are helpful in balancing your nutrition to help prevent UTI and bladder infections.

More Resources Available About Urinary Incontinence

Stay dry and enjoy life by taking steps to manage your incontinence.

If you’re unable to regain control of your bladder through behavioral changes alone, talk with your doctor about finding the right treatment plan for you.

Below here are examples of Health Success Results other people have had with using a self care strategy for dealing with this condition:

We would be very interested to hear your result stories with your problem if you are using some of our nutrition products. To send us your story just fill out the form below.

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This incontinence information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The incontinence content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any incontinence questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

The incontinence resources on this site are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify incontinence information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the web site incontinence subject matter herein.

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