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Ask The Doc: Is Urinary Incontinence A Normal Part Of Aging?

QUESTION: IS URINARY INCONTINENCE A NORMAL PART OF AGING?

Answer: We get this question all the time, and suspect that many people believe this, even though it’s not really true. Here are the facts:

While incontinence should never be considered a normal occurrence, our chances of getting it do increase as we get older. Certain life events (childbirth, for example) can cause the muscles and tissues to weaken, and, over time can result in the inability to control our bladder, leading to urinary incontinence. Other conditions can also play a role – neurological conditions such as MS or Parkinson’s Disease, being overweight, or prostate problems in men can all contribute to bladder leakage.

So, in a way, yes, as you get older, you may be more likely to experience urinary incontinence, but it’s typically a symptom of something else. And it most certainly can be treated. Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise (especially performing moves that increase the strength of the pelvic floor) can do wonders in improving symptoms of incontinence. And, if that doesn’t work, medications, minimally invasive procedures (like Botox injections or InterStim), or even surgery are all options for treating the issue.

The most important thing to take away is that having bladder leakage is not a lost cause, and it most certainly should not be considered “normal”. If you live with this symptom, find a doctor and talk about your options. Life’s too short to live with a condition that has so many options for treatment.

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Are you an expert in incontinence care? Would you like to join the NAFC expert panel? Have a question you’d like answered? Contact us!

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