Ask the Experts

 

Your frequently asked questions, answered by the experts.

We asked a gynecologist and a urologist for their expert advice on dealing with incontinence. Read these top ten most frequently asked questions and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to know more about our pads.

What causes incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is not a disease but a symptom of a medical or physical condition. If you are experiencing incontinence, it is best to see a physician to have yourself evaluated and pin down what is causing it.

 

The drinks, foods and medications we take may also cause temporary incontinence. These diuretics include:

 

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy food
  • Foods high in acid like citrus fruits
  • Large doses of Vitamin C
  • Heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives and muscle relaxants

 

Diuretics stimulate your bladder and cause it to produce more urine. You may want to re-evaluate your diet and see which of these foods you should skip.

 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and constipation may also cause temporary incontinence. Infections irritate the bladder and can cause strong urge to pee. The rectum happens to share some nerves with the bladder and stressed nerves make the bladder overactive. These are easily treatable conditions and you must seek advice from your physician.

 

When incontinence becomes persistent, it may be caused by underlying physical problems or changes, such as:

 

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Ageing
  • Menopause and Hysterectomy in women
  • Enlarged prostate and prostate cancer in men
  • Urinary stones
  • Neurological disorders–pelvic organ prolapse, abdominopelvic masses (tumors) chronic or debilitating cough

Hunskaar S, Burgio K, Diokno A, Herzog AR, Hjälmås K, Lapitan MC. Epidemiology and natural history of urinary incontinence in women. Urology. 2003;62(4 Suppl 1):16-23.

Gleason JL, Richter HE, Redden DT, Goode PS, Burgio KL, Markland AD. Caffeine and urinary incontinence in US women. Int Urogynecol J. 2013;24(2):295-302.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/symptoms-causes/syc-20352808

What are the symptoms of incontinence? How to differentiate incontinence from normal?

Does urine leak when you cough, sneeze, laugh or when you exercise or lift something heavy? You may have stress incontinence.

 

Do you experience intense, sudden urge to urinate? Do you feel the need to urinate frequently at night? You may have urge incontinence caused by an infection, a neurologic disorder, or diabetes.

 

Do you experience frequent or dribbling of urine? This means your bladder does not completely empty causing urine to overflow when you urinate.

 

Is there any mental or physical condition that is hindering you from making it to toilet in time?

 

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, we advise that you see a doctor. Urinary incontinence may indicate a more serious condition that needs to be addressed. Not dealing with it at the earliest possible time may limit your activities and affect your social life.

Melville JL, Katon W, Delaney K, Newton K. Urinary incontinence in US women: a population-based study. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(5):537-42.

https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/types-of-urinary-incontinence#1

Are there different types or levels of incontinence?

Stress Incontinence – Urine leaks due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. You are unable to control the flow or urine when you cough, laugh, or sneeze. Pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and prostate surgery may cause stress incontinence.

 

Urge Incontinence – Also known as Overactive Bladder (OAB), urge incontinence causes you to have the urgent need to urinate but are unable to hold it until you get to the toilet. Damaged nerves and muscles, bladder infections, and other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and stroke may cause urge incontinence.

 

Overflow Incontinence – if you have to urinate frequently, this may mean you are not completely emptying your bladder. If your bladder can’t empty, you have to seek medical advice as it may be caused by nerve damage, or conditions that block the flow of urine such as tumor or enlarged prostate.

At what age does incontinence usually occur?

Urinary incontinence is more common among women than men. The rates of urinary incontinence increase with age: 20%-30% of young women, 30%-40% of middle-aged women, and up to 50% of older women suffer from urinary incontinence.

Melville JL, Katon W, Delaney K, Newton K. Urinary incontinence in US women: a population-based study. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(5):537-42.

https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/types-of-urinary-incontinence#1

Can it also happen to younger individuals?

Although incontinence is more common in adults and rates increase with age, incontinence can also happen to children. Studies indicate that 20% of all 5-year-old children and 10% of 7-year-olds wet the bed, and of these, up to 20% also have some degree of daytime incontinence. Daytime incontinence may be caused by other conditions like obesity or anxiety.

Lee SD, Sohn DW, Lee JZ, Park NC, Chung MK. An epidemiological study of enuresis in Korean children. BJU Int. 2000;85(7):869-73.

https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/features/incontinence-womans-little-secret#1

Can incontinence be treated? What are the treatment options? Is there a medicine that helps manage incontinence?

Yes, incontinence may be treated depending on its severity. Some can be treated with electrical simulation wherein electrodes are temporarily inserted into the rectum or vagina to stimulate and strengthen pelvic muscles. Medications are also available to calm and relax overactive bladders. Medical devices are available for women too, to avoid leakage. Doctors may also suggest interventional therapies, surgery, and the use of a catheter for some.

Rovner ES, Wein AJ. Treatment options for stress urinary incontinence. Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 3:S29-47.

https://www.medicinenet.com/urinary_incontinence_in_children/article.htm#what_causes_nighttime_incontinence_in_children

Aside from medications, are there other natural ways to cure incontinence?

It is always best to treat any condition naturally. If you are already taking medications, the following will also significantly help in making you feel better.

 

  • Do kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscle
  • Lose weight
  • Train your bladder by delaying your trip to the bathroom by a few minutes. Challenge yourself by increasing the time little by little until you learn how to hold it for a longer time.
  • Take foods rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps improve muscle and nerve fuction. Corn, potatoes, and bananas are rich in magnesium.
  • Vitamin D promotes calcium intake, good bone health, and stronger muscles.
  • Quit smoking. Nicotine can irritate the bladder and quitting this habit may just help you solve the problem.
  • Cut out caffeine. Avoiding Diuretics can help lessen your urge to pee too often.

Wyman JF, Burgio KL, Newman DK. Practical aspects of lifestyle modifications and behavioural interventions in the treatment of overactive bladder and urgency urinary incontinence. Int J Clin Pract. 2009;63(8):1177-91.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352814

Can we still go about with our usual daily routine if we suffer from incontinence?

Yes! Using So Sure Bladder Control pads helps make sure you are able to do your daily activities without hindrance. You are physically and emotionally prepared, knowing that you never have to be caught off guard when leaks suddenly strikes!

How does an incontinence product help me?

While sanitary napkins can do an efficient job keeping you dry during your monthly period, it is not designed for sudden and strong urine flow. So Sure Bladder Control Pads make sure it locks in heavy amounts of liquid rapidly, preventing leakage. By using the correct product, you are relieved of stress and anxiety.

What should I look for in an incontinence pad to assure it is of high quality?

Check what it is made of and make sure your pad is of high quality, super absorbent cotton. So Sure Bladder Control pad has a Blue Acquisition Layer (blue strip in the center of the pad) that makes sure heavy amount of liquid is quickly absorbed. This layer keeps sudden and heavy flow of liquid is quickly guided through and absorbed by the inner layers, and not overflow.

 

Does it have an odor neutralizer? Urine can have a strong scent and using a pad that does not have an odor neutralizer can just make things worse for you. With So Sure Bladder Control Pad’s unique odor guard feature as a neutralizer, strong urine odor is out of the picture.

 

Make sure your pad has anti-bacterial properties. So Sure Bladder Control Pad’s Blue Acquisition Layer does not only absorb the liquid fast, it also sucks in moisture, preventing bacteria from forming. Its breathable, cloth-like back sheet as well as its high quality cotton is gentle on skin, ridding the skin surface of moisture and bacteria.

Sugama J, Sanada H, Shigeta Y, Nakagami G, Konya C. Efficacy of an improved absorbent pad on incontinence-associated dermatitis in older women: cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2012;12:22.

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20457139,00.html

Never get off-guard when leaks strike with So Sure