In Turkey, one out of every four women aged 40 years and over faces urinary incontinence, accounting for 2.7 million women. Problematic conditions include urine leakage when laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, walking or even sitting, and lifting a heavy object or before reaching the toilet, as well as frequent urination to get rid of this feeling or the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.

The main reason why the cases with urinary incontinence are on the rise may be the prolonged life expectancy as suggested. Prof. Dr. Oktay Demirkesen, Urology Specialist and Chairperson of the Turkish Continence Society, informs that urinary incontinence is a more common problem in women. “A study conducted in Türkiye reveals that urinary incontinence is four times more common in women compared to men. The incidence of urinary incontinence is steadily increasing in Türkiye paralleling the increase over the world. According to the International Continence Society, 400 million people globally and 50 million people in Europe suffer from urinary incontinence. This issue appears to be a growing problem in Türkiye”, says Prof. Demirkesen.

One in four women over the age of 30 years experiences this disorder.

Urinary incontinence is a serious and common condition occurring in one out of every four women over the age of 30 years, especially in postmenopausal women and women, who have given multiple births. However, the condition may occur even in young women, who have not given birth. The problem grows even further with the increase in women’s life expectancy. Genetic factors appear to be the most important cause of urinary incontinence in women. This condition often develops in individuals, whose connective tissue is genetically weak and prone to sagging. Factors leading to pelvic organ prolapse include difficult and frequent births, chronic cough and asthma, heavy lifting, chronic constipation, and being overweight.
Women tend to come to terms with having urinary incontinence!

Prof. Dr. Oktay Demirkesen informs that 8 percent of the global population suffers from urinary incontinence and that one can visualize the extent of this condition better in light of the growth of the aging population globally. Prof. Demirkesen adds that urinary incontinence is a condition that can significantly affect the individual’s quality of life. “Women with urinary incontinence further face other problems such as depression and withdrawal from social life. The interesting point here is that a lower number of women than expected seek solutions to their urinary incontinence condition. Considering this lower-than-expected rate, one may suggest that the severity and frequency of urinary incontinence are the determinative factors. Other factors may include embarrassment, the notion that the condition is normal in women of a certain age, and misinformation that the treatment results are inadequate”, says Prof. Demirkesen.

Treatment of Urinary Incontinence

Non-surgical treatment: This treatment modality primarily aims to avoid the factors that aggravate the condition, including constipation, being overweight, smoking, and excessive fluid intake. Another non-surgical treatment modality is to counteract the increased intra-abdominal pressure by muscle activity improving the patient’s pelvic floor capacity. The regulation of female hormone levels is another modality.

Kegel exercises: Pelvis is the medical term describing the area between the pelvic bones. During birth, this is the canal the infant passes through. There are not only bones but also several muscles in the pelvis. Training of the pelvic muscles requires contracting and relaxing the muscles during urination. Contracting the pelvic muscles during urination stops the urine flow and helps the individual to hold the urine for a while. While doing these exercises, the individual should try to identify the muscles involved in holding the urine. Once individuals get familiar with these relevant muscle groups, they may start contracting and relaxing these muscles 200 times throughout the day. These workouts should be completed by performing five slow and five fast movements repeated at least five times a day. The frequency of these workouts should be at least three times a day during pregnancy and at least 10 times a day after delivery. Kegel exercises aim to prevent urinary incontinence induced by coughing, sneezing, or laughing. This type of urinary incontinence is particularly common after giving birth.

Medical treatment: Bladder relaxants offer benefits to individuals eligible for this type of treatment and these medications can be prescribed by specialist physicians.

Surgical treatment: The definitive treatment of medically confirmed stress incontinence is surgery. Several surgical methods are available currently to correct this disorder.

Source: Mynet

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