What is the best urinary incontinence treatment for elders?

Pelvic floor muscles exercise, bladder training, and lifestyle modifications help manage urinary incontinence. Treating the underlying cause of medications or surgeries will complete the treatment plan. Medications and surgeries are only given to those who require them. The best medications vary depending on the underlying cause. Duloxetine is frequently given to men, while topical vaginal estrogen for women with urinary incontinence. Treatment for elderly people with urinary incontinence is similar to adults of other age groups. It is just that the treatment will vary depending on the health status and the underlying cause. Urinary incontinence medication is available only upon prescription by a registered medical doctor. 

Urinary incontinence in men is more likely to cause emotional disturbances in comparison to women. Both men and women are at higher risk to develop urinary incontinence as they get older. There are about 5% of men between the age of 19 to 44 who suffer from urinary incontinence and 21% of men above the age of 65. On the other hand, 50% of women above the age of 65 have urinary incontinence. There are three main reasons why patients are reluctant to seek medical attention for urinary incontinence. The reasons are an embarrassment, unaware of the treatments available, and fear of surgery.

The causes of urinary incontinence in men are:

  • Urge urinary incontinence
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Overflow incontinence
  • Mixed incontinence
  • Functional incontinence
  • Post-void dribbling

Urinary incontinence can affect both men and women. It is an involuntary condition of urinary leakage. Urinary incontinence is very common. However, many patients do not seek medical attention and simply neglect it. Men often hesitate to bring this issue to the attention of their clinicians. Only 20% of men and 25% of women seek medical attention for this health issue. Urinary incontinence can affect patients’ daily activities and reduce the quality of life. 

  Urge urinary incontinence

This type is the most common type of urinary incontinence in men. Urge urinary incontinence is associated with either bladder outlet obstruction or overactive bladder syndrome. The underlying causes for bladder outlet obstruction or overactive bladder syndrome are benign prostate hypertrophy, stroke, and a long list of medications.

  Stress urinary incontinence

This type of incontinence happened due to a problem with the bladder’s sphincter. Stress urinary incontinence happens with the absence of bladder contraction. The underlying causes are prostate surgery, spinal cord injury, and certain medications.  

  Overflow incontinence

The causes of overflow incontinence are prostate enlargement, urethral stricture, neurological issues, and some medications.

  Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urges urinary incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence is not common in men. 

The risk factors for urinary incontinence in women are:

  • Increasing in age
  • Obesity
  • Multiple childbirth
  • Vaginal deliveries during childbirths
  • Family history of urinary incontinence
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High caffeine intake
  • Depression
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • The causes of urinary incontinence in women are:
  • Stress incontinence
  • Urge incontinence
  • Overflow incontinence
  • Mixed incontinence
  • Urological disorder
  • Gynaecological disorders

History taking, physical examination, and some investigations are very much necessary in confirming the underlying cause for this issue. Urine tests, blood tests, and other necessary tests will be carried out by your physician depending on whether the test is necessary or not. Excessive alcohol and caffeine intake are reversible causes and stop caffeine and alcohol intake to help treat urinary incontinence. Weight reduction is effective in dealing with urinary incontinence due to obesity. Please remember that urinary incontinence medication can only be purchased with a prescription from a registered medical doctor.

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