Do you sometimes put on a fresh pair of pants, only to find them soaked through within a matter of minutes? This can even happen at night, leaving you sleepless and uncomfortable. If so, you may have overflow incontinence.
What exactly is overflow incontinence?
Overflow incontinence occurs as a result of not being able to empty your bladder fully. The condition is characterised by the involuntary release of urine from an over-full bladder because the pressure formed in a full bladder forces out urine. This often means that you leak urine constantly and without feeling the urge to go.
What are the symptoms of overflow incontinence?
Here are the most common symptoms of overflow incontinence:
- You leak urine involuntarily
- You wet the bed
- You are going to the toilet more often, but passing less urine
- You feel like you can’t empty your bladder fully, no matter how long you sit on the toilet
- You are having trouble starting to urinate
- Your urine stream is weak
- Your urine stream stops and starts again during urination
- You suffer from frequent urinary tract infections
Causes of overflow incontinence
Overflow incontinence is mainly caused by chronic urinary retention, which means you can’t empty your bladder. This can happen as a result of a blockage or weak bladder muscles that prevent the bladder from fully emptying or from signalling that it is full.
Some conditions that can cause overflow incontinence are:
- Bladder stones or tumours
- Conditions that affect the nerves surrounding the bladder, such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes
- Severe prolapse of the bladder or uterus
- Weakened muscles from pelvic surgery, such as a C-section
- Some medications
One of the most difficult parts of overflow incontinence is the overwhelming effect it can have on your social life. Often, the condition can leave women so apprehensive about smelling of urine that they opt to just stay at home.
The whole thing can really leave you feeling depressed and older than you are. Naturally, this can also put a strain on personal relationships. But this need not be the case. Talk to your doctor to tailor a treatment plan that works for you and allows to you to live your life again.
How to treat overflow incontinence
There are a number of treatments for overflow incontinence. They include:
- Catheterisation, where a small, thin tube is inserted through the urethra to help to drain excess urine out of the bladder
- Surgery to correct any physical blockage of the bladder
- Medication to help to manage your symptoms
Incontinence underwear or pads can be worn as an interim remedy. ALWAYS DISCREET incontinence underwear, for instance, is so thin and flexible no one will even know you’re wearing it. The pants fit smoothly and comfortably under your clothes, just like real underwear. The super-absorbent core turns liquid and odours to gel to keep you dry and confident.
If you experience constant urination, don’t be embarrassed to talk to your doctor about it. Getting a diagnosis means getting treatment, which can help get you back to living life!