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4 Ways Urinary Incontinence Will Lead to Problems If Left Untreated

According to the Mayo Clinic, urinary incontinence is a common issue caused by lack of bladder control or “bladder leakage.” It affects a wide range of individuals and the severity varies from urinating when you cough or sneeze to not being able to make it to the restroom in time at all. Being elderly or overweight increases your chance of developing urinary incontinence.

People often feel embarrassed when they are experiencing bladder control issues and might avoid discussing them with their doctor. However, this can lead to other issues, so it is important that you consult your physician for treatment.

Leaving urinary incontinence untreated could potentially lead to the following related problems:
Skin Problems
People who experience persistent urinary incontinence are prone to skin problems. Having constantly wet skin increases your risk of rashes, sores, or skin infections. Some people experience a Candida infection, commonly referred to as thrush.

Urinary Tract Infections
Untreated urinary incontinence increases the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). In some cases, a urinary tract infection is the cause of urinary incontinence. Signs of a UTI include burning when you urinate and foul smelling urine. An untreated UTI presents other risks, such as sepsis, so identifying the cause of and treating your urinary incontinence is important.

Sleep Deprivation
Some people with urinary incontinence may have trouble getting a healthy amount of sleep. Frequent waking to urinate or because they’ve wet themselves, for example, may disrupt sleep. Long term loss of sleep could potentially result in sleep deprivation, which can be linked to other health issues if experienced long term.

Negative Social Impact
People who don’t seek treatment for their urinary incontinence may experience negative social and emotional side effects. Some people experience social withdraw, sexual dysfunction, or depression after prolonged bladder control issues. People sometimes give up hobbies or activities they enjoy such as running or bowling.

Treatments vary depending on the type of urinary incontinence and the severity.
Treatment options include:

  • Pelvic floor exercises.
  • Behavioral techniques, such as bladder training or scheduled bathroom breaks.
  • Medication.
  • Surgery.
  • Electrical stimulation.
  • Intervention therapy.
  • Medical devices.
  • Lifestyle modifications.
  • Pads or a catheter.

Fortunately, urinary incontinence is not typically considered a life threatening concern for those affected. Seeking and receiving treatment can greatly reduce the impact urinary incontinence has on your quality of life.