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Incontinence and Its Risk Factors

incontinence-risk-factors

The loss of bladder control or other forms of incontinence is a common and embarrassing problem, especially among older adults. If left untreated, it can turn out to become severe, ultimately leading to invasive procedures for treatment. Anyone at any age can develop any form of incontinence. Moreover, certain health and life events can put some people at an increased risk of developing fecal or urinary incontinence. However, risk factors may be different for different types of incontinence.

Risk Factors of Urinary Incontinence

Pregnancy

A woman’s uterus expands during pregnancy, putting pressure on the bladder causing sudden urges to urinate. Also, post-childbirth, the probability of experiencing incontinence is high due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Age

While overactive bladder can occur at any age, the risk increases as you grow older. Alongside, age increases the risk of other health complications that affect bladder control. Obesity
Excess body weight puts pressure on the bladder leading to conditions of incontinence. It can also lead to conditions that affect the nerve activity and blood flow to your bladder.

Gender

Women are more likely to experience incontinence than men due to reasons like pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause that affect the hormonal levels and pelvic floor muscles.

Menopause

After menopause the estrogen production in women reduces. This leads to deterioration of the tissues that keep the urethra and lining of the bladder healthy, thereby aggravating the risk of incontinence.

Constipation

People who have constipation problems are at an increased risk of incontinence due to irregular bowel movements.

Certain Medications

Certain medications, such as sleeping pills and antidepressants, are known to trigger the possibility of incontinence.

Other Health Problems

Health-related complications, such as diabetes or neurological disorders, may increase the risk of incontinence problems.

Risk Factors of Fecal Incontinence

Dementia

People suffering from advanced stages of dementia often encounter incontinence problems. This is because the brain and the bowel or bladder doesn’t work properly.

Chronic Diarrhea

Patients with chronic diarrhea often face incontinence problems due to their inability to stop the urge to defecate. This comes on so suddenly that they are often unable to make it to the toilet on time.

Family History

When a close family member has/had some form of incontinence, especially urge incontinence, other family members are also at risk of contracting such complications.

Bottom Line

There are several risk factors, but only a few have undergone rigorous testing. If you happen to fall into any of the above-mentioned risk categories or experience any symptoms or incontinence such as bladder or bowel control, consult a physician. You should also make yourself aware of some of the practical tips and advice that can help you to restrict the possibility of any such occurrences. Remember that plenty can be done to prevent and cure cases of incontinence. Changes such as incorporating regular exercise and practicing good toilet habits, following a healthier diet and lifestyle can surely prove to be effective.

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