Loss of urine or urinary incontinence is a frequently observed problem. An estimated 25% of all women with 1 or more children suffers from incidental or recurring periods with loss or urine. And many men above 50 feel the need to frequently empty the bladder or suffer from a weak urinary stream; usually prostate problems are the primary cause for such symptoms. Urinary incontinence is an important public health issue with severe social consequences; in some cases it may even lead to social isolation of affected patients.
Which types of incontinence are there?
People with stress incontinence have a chronically weakened sphincter of the bladder. They lose urine whenever there is an increase in the abdominal pressure caused by physical exercise, lifting heavy things (like a child) or when laughing, coughing or sneezing. A special form of stress incontinence, that is recently coming out in the open, is coital incontinence (losing urine during sexual intercourse).
People with urge-incontinence usually feel a sudden, strong urge to urinate and an inability to get to the toilet in time. The most common cause for urge-incontinence is the Overactive Bladder, that sends out urge signals too often.
Next to the pure stress- and urge-incontinence forms, there are mixed forms as well, caused by a variety of less frequently observed conditions. A proper diagnosis is therefore extremely important in order to find the most effective treatment.
Is there a treatment for incontinence?
Many people with urinary loss symptoms postpone a visit to their family doctor and help themselves with sanitary napkins or diapers. As a matter of fact, a significant part of the diapers sold in shopping malls finds its way to the bathroom of the parents instead of to the baby room. Incontinence is therefore a disorder that is usually presented to a healthcare professional in a more advanced stage. Often the problem has then already caused substantial physical and psychological suffering. A real pity, knowing that many forms of incontinence can be treated effectively when diagnosed at an early stage.
The first step towards a cure: the voiding diary
In order to understand what exactly causes your incontinence, a detailed insight into the behavior of your bladder is required, including frequency, degree and cause of the urine loss. Your doctor will therefore usually ask you to fill in a so-called voiding diary for 1 or more days, recording all of your fluid intakes, the volume of all your pees and the details of the moments of urine loss. Until now, this could only be done on paper. iP Voiding Diary offers an easy-to-use digital alternative with the help of an iPhone app. Now you can capture all the details of your bladder behavior in a convenient, discrete and reliable way.