Urinary incontinence, also frequently referred to as bladder weakness, is a loss of voluntary control over urination.
Below, we look into the types and causes of Urinary Incontinence and what you can do to help:
- How common is Urinary Incontinence?
- Types of Urinary Incontinence
- What causes Urinary Incontinence
- How to treat Uriniary Incontinence
- How the Emsella Chair can treat Urinary Incontinence
How common is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a common condition that affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men in the UK. The NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million British individuals will have urinary incontinence to some degree. Those numbers mean incontinence is far more common in the UK than hay fever! But whilst incontinence may be common, this doesn’t make it ‘normal’ and it is a problem and shouldn’t be ignored.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are three main types of Urinary Incontinence;
- Stress Incontinence,
- Urge Incontinence and
- Mixed Incontinence.
It’s important to understand what type of incontinence you may be suffering from, as each type of incontinence can be treated slightly differently.
Stress incontinence is when leaks involuntarily occur as a result of coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, heavy lifting, or other movements that put pressure on the bladder. Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Being overweight or undertaking high-impact exercise can also be a trigger, as the term ‘stress’ relates to the physical strain associated with the leakage. Stress Incontinence is the most common type of female bladder weakness.
Urge incontinence, also known as frequent urination or overactive bladder, is when there is a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, often with little warning. Urge incontinence is usually the result of the overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
Symptoms of urge incontinence include needing to urinate often, even during the night. People with urge incontinence often find it difficult to reach the toilet in time.
Mixed Incontinence is referred to when a person suffers from both types of urge incontinence (Stress and Urge) at the same time. One type is usually more pronounced than the other, and it is advised that the more severe type be treated first.
What causes Urinary Incontinence?
A weak pelvic floor is usually the primary cause of urinary incontinence, but what can cause the pelvic floor to become weak in the first place?
In women, the most typical causes of pelvic floor weakness include pregnancy & childbirth, and menopause. In men, the most common cause of urinary incontinence is radical prostatectomy surgery.
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
- a family history of incontinence
- increasing age – although incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing
In addition to common causes, some things can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence without directly being the cause of the problem. These are known as risk factors.
Some of the main risk factors for urinary incontinence include:
- family history – there may be a genetic link to urinary incontinence, so you may be more at risk if other people in your family have the problem
- increasing age – urinary incontinence becomes more common in middle age and is very common in people who are 80 or older
- having lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) – a range of symptoms that affect the bladder and urethra
How to treat Urinary Incontinence
By strengthening and re-educating the pelvic floor muscles, you can treat the root cause of urinary incontinence and say goodbye to leaks for the long term. Many people choose to manage the symptoms of urinary incontinence by using absorbent pads and pants, however, these are uncomfortable, costly over a lifetime, and do nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.
Initially, you may try some simple measures to see if they help improve your symptoms.
These may include:
- lifestyle changes such as losing weight and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol
- pelvic floor exercises, where you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing them
- bladder training, where you learn ways to wait longer between needing to urinate and passing urine
If these do not help relieve symptoms, then you may be able to try other options including revolutionary non-surgical treatments such as the Emsella Chair.
What is Emsella and how does it help Urinary Incontinence?
Emsella is a non-invasive, FDA-approved, medical CE-marked treatment for pelvic floor muscles in incontinence and intimate discomfort. The Emsella chair uses HIFEM (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) frequencies to independently target the pelvic floor muscles and muscles at the neck of the bladder. This causes the muscles to contract and release, in the same way, standard kegel exercises do. However, with the Emsella chair, the muscles are given a workout equivalent to 11,000 kegel exercises per treatment session.
Emsella is the only procedure that targets pelvic floor muscles and causes deep pelvic floor stimulation because of HIFEM® technology.
During the Emsella treatment you will be completely clothed yet, we recommended loosely fitted clothing to help achieve the best positioning during treatment. When the treatment starts you will feel slight tingling and vibrations in your pelvic floor muscles that will then turn into full contractions. This will be completely comfortable and tolerable.
Take this 28-minute session to relax, read a magazine, or watch television. You will be able to return to normal activities after the treatment.