Female Incontinence Causes
Could she have weakened pelvic floor muscles?
The bladder and outlet passage are supported and held in place by a hammock of muscles (the pelvic floor muscles) that keep the bladder closed. Muscles weaken naturally with age, and when these muscles lose their strength and flexibility, even commonplace activities such as coughing can cause leakage. This is one of the most common female incontinence causes.
Has she experienced a loss of mobility?
If it's difficult to reach the bathroom, it can hinder a person from reacting in time to their bladder's needs.
Does she have a mental illness?
If you are looking after someone with a mental illness, it may be that she simply cannot recognize the need to urinate or defecate or, due to her illness, fails to respond to those signals.
Has she been diagnosed with a medical condition?
Certain medical conditions, particularly those affecting the brain or nervous system, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis and brain damage, can be male or female incontinence causes. This is due to the nerve passageways from the brain becoming damaged. The result can be either an overactive bladder (the need to go often and frequently) or an underactive bladder (ineffective emptying leading to leakage). It can also lead to fecal incontinence. Diabetes and/or a stroke can also bring on incontinence.
Is she taking prescribed medications for another condition?
Female incontinence can be a side effect of certain medications. If your loved one has recently started or changed their medication and this has coincided with their incontinence, it may be worth setting an appointment with their doctor. Sometimes medications can be changed and dosages reduced, or even stopped.
Does she regularly experience urinary infections?
Urinary infections can lead to bladder hypersensitivity. The symptoms can include urgency, frequency of emptying by day and night (or in small amounts) and not being able to reach the bathroom in time.
Is she regularly constipated?
Constipation is one of the most common causes of fecal incontinence. Chronic constipation could lead to an impacted hard stool in the rectum becoming too large for your loved one to pass. As a result, the rectum muscles and intestines stretch and eventually weaken. Watery stools could also pass around the hard stool and leak out, causing fecal incontinence.
Is she post-menopause?
All muscles weaken over time, and following menopause the reduction in the quantity of estrogen affects the abdominal muscles in particular. As a result, the bladder shifts position and the muscles around the urinary tract become less effective.
Is she overweight?
If the person you care for is overweight, this can put additional pressure on the abdominal and pelvic muscles, leading to urine leaks.
Does she smoke?
A smoker's cough can be an indirect cause of leakage, mainly because of the frequency and abnormal violence involved in each cough. Another factor for smokers is the increased risk of contracting circulatory diseases and the subsequent prescription of diuretic medicines that also increase the likelihood of leakage.