Health: Urinary incontinence affects around 45% of women

Health: Urinary incontinence affects around 45% of women



According to the SBU, 45% of women and 15% of men over 40 years of age leak urine.

The involuntary loss of urine through the urethra is a very common public health problem, but little talked about by those who suffer out of shame.

Men and women can be affected by urinary incontinence, however, women are the most affected. According to the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU), 45% of women and 15% of men over 40 years of age have pee leaks.

According to urologist Flávio Antunes, most women do not report symptoms of urinary incontinence to their doctors, because they think it is a normal problem or because they feel embarrassed.

“Urinary incontinence can have an impact on hygiene, affect quality of life and have a social impact, leading women to embarrassment, reduced social interactions, physical activities and even isolation. Many who have this condition are afraid to do their normal daily activities to avoid exposing their problem. They cannot be too far from a bathroom and avoid crowds of people. Therefore, urinary incontinence prevents people from enjoying life. Many, out of shame, end up not reporting that they have pee leaks and this can harm their health. The older the age, the greater the prevalence of incontinence and the greater the severity of symptoms”,

alerts the specialist.

The Health Wellbeing and Aging study showed a prevalence of urinary incontinence in older people: 22.2% are people between 60 and 74 years old and 38.6% are over 75 years old. Obese women are three times more likely to suffer from the problem.

“The doctor also needs to assess the type of birth this woman had, whether there is smoking, family history or whether it is linked to ethnicity. White women are more predisposed to urinary incontinence. In women, the most common thing is to have urinary incontinence from the age of 45 or 50. In men, the older they are and the more prostate problems they have, the higher the incidence.”

Second, Flávio Antunes, there are three types of urinary incontinence, they are:

Stress urinary incontinence: is the involuntary loss of urine when performing physical effort such as coughing, sneezing, carrying weight, jumping, laughing or sometimes even walking or lifting. It usually occurs due to a defect in the functioning of the urethra, either in the muscle that closes the urethra or in the muscles that support the urethra in the pelvis (called pelvic floor muscles).

Overactive Bladder/urge-incontinence: characterized by the urgent urge to urinate, may or may not be associated with urinary loss (urgent urinary incontinence) in the absence of urinary infection. It occurs due to the involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle (detrusor) outside the period of urination.

Overflow urinary incontinence: when the bladder loses the ability to “warn” the woman or man when it is full and loses the ability to contract properly. This way the bladder fills until it overflows. Generally, urinary loss in these cases occurs through dripping. It occurs in women or men with decompensated diabetes, stroke or spinal trauma, for example, and men in the advanced stage of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

According to Flávio Antunes, urinary incontinence can be controlled and treated. The treatment, which begins after the doctor identifies the type of incontinence, can be carried out through pelvic floor physiotherapy, medication, application of botox in the bladder, implantation of a pacemaker in this organ or through surgery that places a mesh to support the urethra.

“Both women and men who are affected by urinary incontinence disorder should see a urologist, who is a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract,”

highlighted Antunes.

*With information from consultancy

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