Incontinence is a condition in which one has problems holding up urine. On the one hand, incontinence occurs in children who are not yet potty trained.

However, this can be solved by potty training children. In adults, however, incontinence is a phenomenon that is less desirable. Involuntary and uncontrollable urination is something that is not desirable in any situation. Fortunately, there is usually treatment for incontinence.

Forms and reasons for incontinence in women

Incontinence in women can have several reasons. These include incontinence due to stress, urge incontinence and mixed incontinence.

1. Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is leakage of urine during sudden exertion, where there is increased pressure in the abdomen. Reasons include exercise, coughing, laughing or sneezing. One is not referring to psychological stress.

The cause is a weakening or slackening of the pelvic floor muscles, which results in insufficient support of the bladder (especially the urethra). This weakens the action of the sphincter of the urethra and releases urine when pressure is increased (i.e., sneezing, for example).

2. Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is also known as urge incontinence. It occurs when there is a sudden urge to urinate, often quickly followed by urine leakage without the woman's control. Another symptom of this form of incontinence is having the urge to go to the toilet several times during the night.

The cause of this form of incontinence is the sudden contraction (contraction) of the bladder muscle, resulting in uncontrolled leakage of urine. Women with urge incontinence often have an urge to urinate day and night, but lose only a small amount of urine with urination.

3. Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence. The cause is both slackening of the pelvic floor muscles and sudden contractions of the bladder. In this case, both types of incontinence will need to be treated


Treatment of incontinence

The treatment of stress incontinence in women can suffice in mild form with pelvic floor exercises. This is done under the guidance of a specialized pelvic floor therapist. If this treatment does not have the desired effect, surgical intervention is suggested. During this procedure, a band is placed under the urethra, making the closure mechanism function better and eliminating urine leakage.

 In the case of urge incontinence, treatment often consists of medication that can inhibit the sudden contraction of the bladder. This reduces the chance of unwanted leakage.


Tips for incontinence

To best combat the effects of incontinence in women, it is important, among other things, to drink properly. This does not mean drinking very much, or very little. The tips below can help minimize urine leakage from incontinence.

Drink enough to dilute the urine. If you don't, the concentrated urine can potentially irritate your bladder, making leakage worse.

Spread your fluid intake. Don't drink a lot at once, but drink small amounts.

Need to go somewhere where there are no restrooms, or they are not easily accessible? Do not drink too much before and during your trip.

Avoid alcohol, as it can irritate your bladder and make leakage worse. This also applies to caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and e.g. cola and citrus juices like orange juice.

Be careful with light varieties of beverages. Some of the sugar substitutes used can also cause irritation in the bladder.


Women's Healthcare Center Amsterdam

Do you have questions about incontinence and/or its related research or about women's healthcare in general? You can reach us at 020 6420 229 or use our contact form.