If you are a woman in your forties and happen to experience drops of urine escape when you cough or sneeze or are unable to hold the urine when you get the urge to pass the urine, you perhaps have a problem called urinary incontinence. Do not feel embarrassed or get worried because you are not alone. There are millions of women around the globe with this problem.
Having urinary incontinence greatly affects a woman’s quality of life. It affects their confidence, limits social outings due to the fear of urine leaking, wetting themselves, smelling bad, or unavailability of bathrooms in times of emergency.
Most of the time, the women suffer silently due to the shame and also because they are not aware that there is a treatment for this problem. This is true particularly in the rural areas where the females have multiple home deliveries resulting in the loosening of the muscles of the pelvis.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
Our urine is stored in a muscular balloon-like structure called the urinary bladder. The lower end of this bladder has a tube called the urethra which carries the urine out of our body. A guard muscle is present at the lower end of the bladder where the urethra starts. This guard muscle prevents the urine from escaping from the bladder. Certain nerves carry messages from the bladder to the brain and vice versa. There are muscles of the pelvis that provide support to the bladder. When the bladder is full, it sends signals to the brain which then orders the muscles of the bladder to contract and the guard muscles to relax so that the urine flows out through the body. Whenever there is a problem anywhere in this pathway, either with the nerves or muscles or with the guard muscle, the person could experience urinary incontinence.
Risk Factors for Urinary Incontinence:
There are certain people more at risk of getting urinary incontinence than others. These include:
1.Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence than males. Particularly pregnant females, females having one or multiple vaginal deliveries, and menopausal females may experience it.
2.Obese people as the excess fat puts pressure on the urinary bladder.
3.People with neurological conditions, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc., or injury to the brain after an accident or surgery, etc.
4.People who have undergone surgery like hysterectomy
5.Smoking causes the guard muscle to relax thus causing urine incontinence
6.Having a family history of obesity makes one more prone to experience incontinence.
Types of Urinary Incontinence:
Here are some common types of urinary incontinence.
1.Stress incontinence: This is the most common type encountered, and it happens when there is an increase in the pressure inside the abdomen, as it happens while coughing, sneezing, lifting weight, or applying pressure.
2.Urge incontinence: As the name suggests, you get an urge to urinate and are unable to have control over urination. You have to rush to the washroom immediately as you get the urge.
3.Overflow incontinence: This type of urinary incontinence is found more commonly in males with prostate problems where the urinary bladder does not empty fully. Some amount of urine remains in the bladder which then leaks. This is also observed in cases where the bladder becomes full but the person is unable to sense it. This full bladder then overflows causing incontinence.
4.Functional incontinence: It happens when there is no issue with the bladder but the person has a problem either in the form of inability to move from their present place, e.g. in severe osteoarthritis, or are unable to convey their urge for the urination to others, such as in cases of mental retardation, etc.
5.Mixed incontinence: It could be a mix of any of the continence mentioned above.
If you already have incontinence, there could be several factors that may increase the problem. They are as below.
1.The intake of certain medications that can relax the guard muscle of the bladder, such as antihistamine, antihypertensives, muscle relaxants, chocolates, etc.
2.Having an overactive bladder
3.Urinary tract infection
4.Diuretics, such as tea, coffee, alcohol, or diuretic medications.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Urinary Incontinence?
Based on your symptoms, the past and the present medical history, and family history, the doctor may diagnose urinary incontinence. He may suggest certain investigations, such as Urine test, Ultrasound, Cystoscopy, and Urodynamics study, to know the reasons for your urinary incontinence and the extent of severity and develop a treatment plan for your case.
Homeopathic Treatment for Urinary Incontinence:
Homeopathy can help treat urinary incontinence where there are no major pathological changes. Below are the most commonly used homeopathic medicines for urinary incontinence.
1.Causticum: It is indicated for cases with progressive loss of muscle strength. This weakness further progresses to paralysis. When there is the involuntary passage of urine on coughing and sneezing and the stream of urine is very slow due to weakness of the bladder muscles, this medicine may help. Retention of urine due to paralysis of bladder muscles may occur. When an individual passes urine involuntarily in sleep during the first part of the night, this remedy is indicated.
2.Sepia: Relaxed pelvic muscles which cause a sensation that the internal organs would come down indicate this medicine. Sepia is effective in treating incontinence of urine due to weak muscles. The patient sits with legs crossed to prevent the feeling of drag down.
3.Pulsatilla: Incontinence of urine in females with changeable mood and menstrual irregularities indicate Pulsatilla. When the urine escapes involuntarily when coughing and passing gas and the patient wets the bed in the first part of the night, is thirstless, and craves for the open air, this remedy may help.
4.Alumina: Partial paralysis of the muscles of the bladder indicates this medicine. When the patient has to sit for a long time before he could pass the urine, has to strain a lot, and the stream of urine is very weak, Alumina may help. It is effective in treating old people who have frequent desire to pass the urine.
5.Kreosotum: It is indicated for urge incontinence. When the patient has to hurry when he or she gets the urge for urination, passes offensive urine, and can pass the urine in lying down position only, this remedy is recommended. Bedwetting in the first part of the night indicates this medicine.
You can practice Kegels exercises to improve the tone of your pelvic muscles and to improve the symptoms of your incontinence. Besides this, try to lose weight if you are overweight.
The above article is just for your knowledge and not intended to give a medical prescription because homeopathic treatment for incontinence would vary from person to person. In case you have any queries, do write to us or chat with our doctors at Life Force. We shall be happy to assist you.