Mixed Urinary Incontinence
When Stress and Urge Collide...
The result is Mixed Urinary Incontinence, a combination of two common types of incontinence.
Stress Urinary Incontinence occurs when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift, or exercise. Roughly one in three women will experience SUI at some point in their lives, as the pelvic floor weakens and fails to support the bladder adequately, causing urine leaks.
Urge Urinary Incontinence, on the other hand, is characterized by a sudden and intense urge to urinate, often leading to an inability to reach the restroom on time or even leakages while pulling down your panties.
What can cause Mixed Urinary Incontinence?
- Pregnancy – Extra weight and ‘pregnancy hormones’ put a strain on your pelvic floor resulting in leaks.
- Childbirth – Difficult births and problems such as a vaginal tear or episiotomy means you are more likely to suffer from incontinence.
- Ageing and the Menopause– Hormone changes mean the pelvic muscles, ligaments and fibres are not as ‘springy’ as they once were and your pelvic floor is ‘sagging’ which results in leaks.
- Overweight – You are TWICE as likely to suffer stress incontinence if you are overweight.
- Medication – some medications unfortunately contribute to stress incontinence, for instance muscle relaxants such as Statins and anti-depressants are a lethal combination for your pelvic floor and urinary system. Hay fever meds play havoc too.
- Smoking – coughing plays havoc with your pelvic floor by making it weak and you’ve also got a 3x higher chance of developing bladder cancer.
What can you do about Mixed Urinary Incontinence?
- Pelvic Floor Exercises – Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are recommended as the first line treatment. The results from strengthening your pelvic floor muscles won’t happen overnight (just as they didn’t get weak overnight!) but a strong pelvic floor means that your pelvic organs are well supported and you should be able to stop those pesky bladder-leaks. It is vital you adopt an exercise plan now - if you don’t you could be heading for even less bladder control and possible prolapse.
- Vaginal Pessary- A pessary device inserted into the vagina presses against the bladder neck and urethra so you have less leakage.
- Prescription Medications– Your healthcare provider will treat the incontinence that is worse for you. There are medications available that can help, but they will not strengthen your muscles so whilst they treat your symptoms (leaks) they won’t treat the underlying cause, which is a weak pelvic floor. Medications can take up to 3 months to work and they are a long term medication, not just a course like antibiotics, so why not try 3 months of pelvic floor exercising instead?
- Surgery - Surgical operations to treat stress incontinence tend only to be used when kegels have not helped. They aim to tighten or support the muscles and structures below the bladder. The tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) procedure is a sling of synthetic tape used to support the urethra and neck of the bladder. Colposuspension is another operation to support the urethra and treat stress incontinence.
Mixed Urinary Incontinence is a warning sign to your body - you need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and this is where Kegel8 can help. You may try medications or surgery but neither of these options will make your pelvic floor strong to prevent further incontinence and/or prolapse problems. Take a look at our range of Kegel8 Pelvic Toner and specialist pelvic floor exercisers to help you get strong and calm your bladder!