Types of Incontinence
While there are several causes of incontinence, more common causes may be pregnancy, child birth, and menopause.
There are a few different types of incontinence when it comes to bladder control, the first step is identifying which type you may be experiencing. The types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence: urine leaks with exertion e.g. coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercise or lifting something heavy.
- Urge incontinence: having a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss or urine.
- Overflow incontinence: frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that does not empty completely.
- Functional incontinence: leakage or urine because you a physically unable to get to the toilet due to a physical disability, intellectual disability or memory problem.
Additionally, there are a few different types of bowel control issues when it comes to incontinence, these are:
- Constipation: passing hard, dry bowel motions with difficulty or straining
- Diarrhoea – frequent passing of loose bowel motions
- Faecal incontinence – uncontrolled loss of bowel motions
Incontinence Prevention and Treatment
How can pelvic floor physiotherapy help?
The pelvic floor is a layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs. These layers stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone in the front. A women’s pelvic floor supports her bladder, womb (uterus) and bowel, and a man’s pelvic floor supports his bladder and bowel.
Having strong pelvic floor and abdominal muscles gives you control over your bladder and bowel. A weakened pelvic floor leads to difficulty controlling the release or urine, bowel motions and wind. This is where pelvic floor physiotherapy can help.
Having a strong pelvic floor musculature is particularly important in pregnant women as it will support the body to cope with the growing weight of the baby. Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in both men and women. In men, it is important for erectile function and ejaculation, in women it contributes to sexual sensation and arousal.
To prevent and treat incontinence you first need to learn which muscles are the pelvic floor muscles and how to train them. It’s very important to identify your pelvic floor muscles correctly before moving into a regular pelvic floor muscle exercise program. Pelvic floor physiotherapy has been shown to reduce the indication needed for incontinence surgery, leads to a decrease risk of prolapse and improves sexual function.
Our Pelvic Floor Physio, Laura can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program to meet your specific needs. She can also prescribe other treatment options and discuss relevant lifestyle factors with you.
Book an appointment with our Women’s Health Physio, Laura if you notice any of these changes occurring in. It is important to know that you don’t need to experience it alone and there are treatment options available.
Alternatively if you would like to receive prescribed exercises from our Women’s Health Exercise Physiologist, Leigh-Anne, she can assist with exercises for the following: menopause, hysterectomy, postnatal depression, endometriosis, back pain, and more. Exercising post pregnancy is an important contribution to getting back on track, another thing Leigh-Anne is sure to assist with!
To view a list of our Women’s Health services click HERE.