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What causes urinary incontinence?


Urinary incontinence has a wide range of potential causes including various medical conditions, certain medications and constipation. Bladder leakage can also be triggered by issues that are unique to either males or females such as removal of the prostate or pregnancy. It’s always best to seek advice from a doctor or health professional to help you understand more about what is causing the problem.


The triggers that could affect anyone

As much as there are certain causes depending on your sex, there are a number which could happen to us all. Medical conditions which have an impact on your urethra and bladder like a urinary tract infection (UTI) can result in urge incontinence.  
 
You may also be taking certain medicines which could have an effect including diuretics and sedatives. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, then it may be possible to stop it if you were to no longer use these medications, but it’s vital that you talk to your doctor before taking this course of action!
 
Meanwhile, constipation can prove to be a problem that results in both urge and stress incontinence. There are certain incontinence triggers that you can directly avoid though – limit your alcohol and caffeine intake, and drink the right amount of fluids to lower your chances of suffering from urge incontinence.
 
Finally, it would be wise to keep your pelvic floor strong through certain exercises. A strong pelvic floor provides crucial support that helps keep the urinary tract closed, preventing stress incontinence. This mostly affects women, but it can also impact men.

Incontinence causes for women

A primary cause of incontinence for women is pregnancy. Firstly, a woman’s blood volume will increase progressively, causing your kidneys to produce more urine – so naturally, you’ll have to go the toilet more. The uterus will also expand with the growing baby which puts pressure on the bladder.
 
What’s more, a pregnant woman might need to get up once (or several times) during the night to pass water as fluid retention in the legs and feet will find its way back into the bloodstream when laying down. 
 
Potential causes can also pop up right up until childbirth. Hormones that prepare the ligaments and joints for delivery weaken the muscles that control urine flow, while constipation (common both in pregnancy and after birth) will put even more stress on the pelvic floor and bladder. This affects the support around the urinary tract, meaning little leaks are more likely.
 
A hysterectomy and menopause could also be factors which lead to bladder leakage for females.  For further information on causes, check out lights by TENA for those little leaks and TENA Lady to fight bladder leakage.

Incontinence causes for men

Of course, there are also a number of causes which solely affect men that largely centre around the prostate gland. If removed, then it could lead to stress incontinence, while if your prostate is enlarged, it could become an obstruction that is a direct cause of overflow incontinence.
 
To discover more about what can trigger incontinence in males, have a look on TENA Men.