Overflow incontinence and how to deal with it
Overflow incontinence, dribbling, bladder overflow, peeing yourself. Whatever you want to call it, overflow incontinence sucks. It’s essentially the involuntary release of urine and it usually happens after you’ve already been for a pee, but not been able to empty your bladder completely. So then small amounts dribble out later. Not ideal.
From the causes to the symptoms and the treatment, here’s everything you need to about overflow incontinence.
Why am I suffering?
There could be something serious going on inside your body, blocking the urethra – this could be anything from tumors and urinary stones to scar tissue, or swelling from infection.
Your bladder muscles might have weakened. This can happen with age or after something like giving birth.
There might be nerve damage in your bladder, especially if you’re suffering from a disease like diabetes, alcoholism, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, or spina bifida.
What’s the difference between other types of incontinence?
There are lots of different types of urinary incontinence, and the quicker you figure out which one you’re suffering from, the quicker the treatment process will be. So here’s a quick summary.
Stress incontinence is the most common and it’s basically when you pee yourself when you laugh, cough, or put your bladder under any sort of strain.
Urge incontinence is differentiated by the sudden, intense need to urinate.
Functional incontinence is classified as a mental or physical impairment that stops you from getting to the toilet in time.
Mixed incontinence does what it says on the tin – mixes a few types of incontinence together, usually stress and urge.
Can I treat it?
Depending on the cause and severity of your overflow incontinence, there are some treatments available that can help. These differ slightly for men and women because of the body’s complex needs, but here’s an outline of some of the things you can do to relieve incontinence.
Using incontinence products like absorbance pads might not be a treatment but it can give you your life back. After all, you’ll have more confidence going out and about if you feel like you’re protected from leaks.
Some people use a catheter which is a thin, flexible tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra which allows urine to flow out.
If there’s something blocking your urinary tract, surgery might be necessary to remove any obstructions. This is why it’s so important to talk to a doctor if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms.
Similarly to women, men can have a catheter fitted.
Overflow incontinence in men is sometimes caused by an enlarged prostate, so surgery might be necessary to remove the obstruction.
Unlike for women, medication can treat urinary incontinence in men. Tablets can be taken that make the prostate smaller to relieve pressure on the urethra and help urine flow better.
Don’t suffer in silence. According to WHO, incontinence affects over 200 million people worldwide and over 10% of women globally. It might seem like a bit of an awkward thing to talk about with friends and family, but really, it’s just pee. There’s nothing embarrassing about it. It’s a completely normal thing to experience and it’s time to end the stigma. One conversation at a time.
How can Elvie help?
If you’ve been suffering from urinary incontinence, it’s pretty likely you’ve come across Kegel exercises during your Google searches. These are exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor which will, in turn, strengthen your bladder muscles. And trust us when we say, they can work wonders. If you need some guidance, our Elvie Trainer can help you regain strength in your pelvic floor. It’s a smart kegel trainer which uses biofeedback to guide you through each exercise and ensures that your technique stays on point. So you won’t be second-guessing your skills. All it takes is five minutes, three times a week and our app will help you track your progress as you move from beginner to advanced level.