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Written by

Kate Dyson

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Kate is a content specialist who is passionate about women's health. She's also mum to three kids, two dogs and unsurprisingly, a lover of wine.

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Glossary

For words you might want to know more

Menopause and bladder health

The relationship between menopausal hormonal changes and their impact on bladder function, including increased susceptibility to urinary symptoms and urinary tract infections.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

Describes a condition characterised by a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, often exacerbated by hormonal changes during menstruation.

Pelvic floor exercises

These exercises, such as Kegels, target the muscles that support bladder control and can help reduce urinary leakage and improve overall bladder function.

Stress, Urge and Overflow: Understanding different types of incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a funny term, isn't it? We often associate it with old age, or illness - but the reality is that 1 in 3 women are suffering with some form of incontinence in 2024.

Often referred to as 'bladder leakage', it's a common issue that affects women especially across various stages of their lives - from menstruation to menopause, there are many factors that can contribute to leaks. According to the NHS, urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine.

While it can occur at any age, it becomes more prevalent as we get older - and contrary to popular belief, urinary incontinence is not just a normal part of aging, but rather a treatable medical condition.

What is urinary incontinence?

If you are finding that you are suddenly starting to leak, or maybe you have found that those occasional leaks are turning into dashes for the loo and need-to-go-now urgency, it can be a confusing and challenging time. You might feel embarrassed, so it's important to know that urinary incontinence affects at least 1 in 3 women in the UK and approximately 2.3 BILLION people across the world.

Urinary incontinence manifests in various forms, and understanding the difference can. It occurs when the normal process of storing and passing urine is disrupted, leading to involuntary leakage. This leakage can range from a few drops to a significant amount, depending on the severity of the condition.

What are the different types of incontinence?

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when there is pressure or stress placed on the bladder, leading to leakage. Common triggers include activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. It is often associated with weakened pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and urethra.

  • Urge Urinary Incontinence: Also known as 'overactive bladder,' urge incontinence involves a sudden and intense urge to urinate, often followed by involuntary leakage. The bladder muscles contract involuntarily, causing the urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full. Triggers for urge incontinence may include drinking caffeine or alcohol, urinary tract infections, or neurological conditions.

  • Mixed Urinary Incontinence: As the name suggests, mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence. Individuals with mixed incontinence may experience leakage due to both physical exertion and sudden urges to urinate.

  • Overflow Urinary Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when the bladder does not empty completely during urination, leading to overflow or leakage. It is often associated with conditions that obstruct or block the flow of urine, such as an enlarged prostate in men or constipation.

  • Neurological Bladder Disorder: Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or spinal cord injuries can disrupt the communication between the bladder and the brain, leading to urinary incontinence. Individuals with neurological bladder disorders may experience difficulty controlling bladder function.

  • Post-Micturition Dribble: Post-micturition dribble refers to the involuntary leakage of urine immediately after completing urination. It is often caused by residual urine in the urethra or weak pelvic floor muscles.

  • Functional Urinary Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when a physical or cognitive impairment prevents an individual from reaching the toilet in time. It is common in older adults with mobility issues or conditions such as dementia.

  • Nocturia: Nocturia is a condition characterised by frequent urination during the night, interrupting sleep patterns. While it can occur independently, it is often associated with other forms of urinary incontinence, such as overactive bladder or enlarged prostate. Nocturia can have a significant impact on sleep quality and overall well-being, leading to daytime fatigue and decreased productivity.

How Can Urinary Incontinence Be Treated?

Treatment for urinary incontinence varies depending on the type and severity of the condition.

In many cases, lifestyle modifications, pelvic floor exercises, and bladder training techniques can significantly improve symptoms. Additionally, there are various medical interventions available, including medications, surgical procedures, and devices such as bladder slings or pessaries.

Supplementation is also an effective way of treating incontinence. Jude's Bladder Strength Supplement contains a powerful botanical blend of pumpkin seed and soy germ extract, which work together to strengthen and support the bladder for better control.

Jude’s clinically proven supplements give you better bladder and pelvic floor control, helping you sleep through the night and regain the freedom to live life on your own terms. With just one capsule morning and night, you'll have relief from need-to-go urgency in just 12 weeks.

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