Elderly's health

Urinary incontinence in females 1 in 4 seeks care

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Only one in four women that have urinary incontinence seeks care, and only less than half of those receives treatments, according to a recent survey on JAMA. Even when their healthcare provider is a female, patients still feel embarrassed to tell, which is the main barrier.

Early conservative intervention is important.

Urinary incontinence can severely affect life quality, and early treatments almost always means better outcome. Most of the time, non-medical and non-surgical treatments can have good results. Conservative treatments include behavior modification and training of pelvic muscles. Behavioral changes are that avoidance of coffee, drinking small amount of liquid and scheduled washroom visit throughout the day even without urge to urinate. Weight loss is also in the treatment regimen. For pelvic training, there are a few available gadgets for the physical therapy of pelvic muscles.

As a urologist, I recommended trying to use device insertion into vagina and urethra before the surgery on stress incontinence, even though the surgery is a fairly risk free and straightforward procedure. The reason to use surgery as the last resort is that if the surgery doesn’t work out satisfactorily, further more troublesome correcting surgeries will be needed.

For integrative medical doctors and naturopathic doctors, medicinal herbs are also used for potential inflammations in the urinary tract. Cranberry is a well known beverage for this purpose. Urinary incontinence worsens with aging. Healthcare provider should initiate the discussion of urinary incontinence with females to have it taken care of at an early stage.

Reference:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2658327