Urinary incontinence is a common condition that can develop for a variety of reasons and if left untreated it could gradually increase and affect your quality of life. This problem, classified by the World Health Organization as silent and even considered taboo, affects mostly women, but can also occur in men.
In both cases, the weakening of the pelvic floor is the main cause of this condition. “The pelvic floor, anatomically, is the bones or muscles, tissue and ligaments found in the pelvic area, both internally and externally in women and men,” explained Liana Marín, a physiotherapist at Hospital Metropolitano.
In women, externally, the pelvic floor refers to the vulva, better known as the vagina, the clitoris and the anus; and internally to the muscles that support them. In men it includes the penis and the anus externally and internally the bladder and prostate.
“When there is urinary incontinence, it is very likely that there is already an involvement of the pelvic floor and this condition is reached for multiple reasons, such as, for example, after childbirth in women, in men due to dysfunction of the urethra after prostate surgery and general level due to bladder tumors, obesity and even tobacco consumption”, explained Eugenia Paris, a doctor at the CIMA San José Hospital.
Added to these factors is the development of poorly performed extreme or high-impact sports, surgeries in the area, pelvic fractures, endometriosis, herniated discs, gastrointestinal problems such as colitis, scoliosis, back and hip fractures. Similarly, some types of cancer such as uterus, prostate, colon and ovary, as well as hysterectomies can influence their appearance, Paris emphasized.
Not to normalize it
To treat this condition, it is essential not to normalize it and go to a doctor if discomfort or inconvenience occurs continuously. “It is not normal to have urinary incontinence, incapacitating menstrual pain, pain during sexual intercourse, pain after ejaculation or premature ejaculation, pain in the pubic area or numbness when sitting down,” Marín emphasized.
Losing weight is highly recommended for people with this condition, as well as drinking water evenly throughout the day and getting used to emptying the bladder every two hours, then every three, and then every four, according to the Cima Hospital specialist.
Avoiding further complications
It is also important that after being diagnosed the person consults a physiotherapist, since this is the professional who will help him with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and thus avoid further complications.
“When a patient frequently leaks urine and her underwear remains wet, it can lead to a mycosis, which if it produces a little burning. It can also generate candidiasis or disrupt the integrity of the bladder”, added Paris. In the world, at least 200 million people suffer from this problem.