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Understanding Urinary Incontinence in Women

     

    urinary incontinence in women

    Dictionary.com defines incontinence as “unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuation of urine or feces”. While technically this is an accurate definition, it certainly does not paint the full picture of incontinence, and more specifically how incontinence in women affects so many areas of their lives.

    Incontinence in women is an under discussed conversation. To put it bluntly, it is embarrassing for many women to admit and discuss their issues with incontinence. It is a bit of a taboo subject and one that women of all ages struggle coming to grips with and accepting themselves, let alone conversing about their issues of incontinence with their friends and family.

    Urinary incontinence refers specifically to the bladder. There are several types of urinary incontinence for women. They include:

    Understanding incontinence in women:  four types of incontinence

    Incontinence type #1: Stress Incontinence:

    This is the most common type of incontinence experienced by women. This is the type of incontinence that many women make jokes about such as I can't jump on the trampoline of I will pee my pants or stop making me laugh or I will pee my pants.  Stress incontinence simply means you will urinate to some degree if extra stress is put on your bladder. This typically comes in the form of sneezing, laughing and giggling, coughing, exercise, or heavy lifting.

    Why do women develop stress incontinence?

    There are a number of factors supporting the development of stress incontinence in women:

    Pregnancy:   This is a very common factor for stress incontinence in women. The changes that happen in your body to pregnancy can lead to all sorts of challenges and issues. Often the pelvic floor muscles are stretched during pregnancy and can weaken post pregnancy.

    Aging: as we all age, we start to lose muscle mass. This is referred to as sarcopenia, which typically happens around the age of 50, and becomes more dramatic beyond the age of 60. Your bladder, along with many of your internal organs are supported in part by your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is a muscle that stretches from your pubic bone  to your backbone, and also connects from hip to hip. You can think of it as a large muscle hammock sitting underneath and supporting your internal organs. As these muscles lose strength, the ability to control your bladder is reduced.

    Menopause: Menopause is associated with a natural decline in estrogen. As a result of menopause muscle mass and strength are reduced in the body. Menopause typically occurs after the age of 45 and happens when the women’s ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone.

    While there are many changes that happen to a woman’s body during menopause, including hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood swings, loss of hair, reducing muscle mass and strength is an often overlooked change. This reduction can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor which ultimately leads to incontinence.

    Incontinence type #2: Urge Incontinence

    Urge incontinence is defined as a sudden intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. It is often referred to as an unstable or overactive bladder. You will notice this often as your sleeping, having to get out of bed to pee multiple times a night with a great deal of urgency. It is a embarrassing type of incontinence, because it often leads to leaking as you may not get to the bathroom in time.

    The full understanding of urge incontinence is not fully comprehended by scientists, it does become more common as we age. Urge incontinence can become more intense in times of stress, and caffeine can make it worse.

    Incontinence type #3: Overflow Incontinence

    You can think of overflow incontinence like a slowly dripping tap without the urge to urinate. It often happens in people who have some type of blockage of the bladder outlet and has been as a side effect to several medications. Some people refer to this as dribbling, where small amounts of urine are excreted through the day without any feeling of needing to urinate.

    Oftentimes overflow incontinence is due to the bladder not emptying completely. This can be due to poor muscle tone, surgeries, spinal cord injuries, and other factors. There are some medications that can deal with overflow incontinence as well as surgery options in severe cases.

     Overflow incontinence sucks. It often requires the use of adult diapers, pads, and can negatively affect not only women’s lifestyle, but their confidence, and emotion.

    Incontinence type #4: Functional Incontinence

    Functional incontinence is attributed to impairment, either physical or mental that prevents you from getting to the washroom. It can be a physical disability, such as arthritis, that will slow your ability to get to the washroom.   It is simply not being physically able to urinate in time due to physical or mental capabilities.  

    Incontinence type #5: Mixed Incontinence

     Not all types of incontinence in women can be categorized in a single area. Some people experience two or three different types of incontinence simultaneously, or at different times in their life.  Mixed incontinence is simply a mixture of several types of incontinence.

     

    What can be done to improve the lives of women with incontinence issues?

     

     This question has driven our business, Yoniflex. We are developing an automatic keel exercise machine that has been clinically proven to reduce all types of incontinence in women. Kegel exercises have been the gold standard for improving quality of life of women with incontinence, but they are a challenge to do for many women. The Yoni Flex machine will automate the process of kegel exercises in the comfort of your own home.

     As a mother of two children, I have first-hand understanding of the challenges of incontinence in my life. I created Yoni Flex with my partner's support and our mission is to provide a simple to use, safe, non pharmaceutical, non surgical, discrete and safe product for women dealing with the challenges of incontinence.

    Our process of creating our kegel exercise machine is in the works, you can expect to see our products available by the summer of 2020.  In the mean time, if you would like more information or to discuss this further, please signup for our mail list and you will be notified the moment our Pelvic Floor strengthener is available. 

    UPDATE:  We are now Live!

    Our shipment for the YoniFlex Pelvic Floor Trainer has finally arrived and is available for immediate order.  Click here for more information!


     

    Things to keep in mind when thinking of Urinary Incontinence in Women:

    1.  You are not alone.

    Millions and millions of women all across the world deal with various urinary incontinence issues.  It is important for us to be honest and supportive with each other. 

    2.  You are not without hope.

    So many women just chalk up their urinary incontinence to fate.  "Ah well, I am getting older" and "this is just something I have to deal with" are just not trueThere are things you can do to improve or reduce your incontinence issues.

    3.  We are here to support you.

    Our aim with YoniFlex is to be much more then just a business selling a product. We want to be a support group to bring together people with similar challenges and provide assistance improving all of our lives.  We will continue to develop resources for people of all ages and walks of life to help them make their lives the best they can be.  You can keep connected with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

    I hope the above information has giving you some useful information on the types of urinary incontinence in women as well as some tips you can use to support your pelvic floor to reduce your own urinary incontinence issues.

     

    UPDATE:  We are now Live!

    Our shipment for the YoniFlex Pelvic Floor Trainer has finally arrived and is available for immediate order.  Click here for more information!

     

     

    Stay awesome,
    Tricia

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