Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It is a very common problem and is thought to affect more than 50 million people in the developed world.
The bladder receives urine from the kidneys through tubes called ureters. Urine is stored in the bladder, which is supported in the pelvis by pelvic floor muscles. Some of this muscle wraps around the urethra, the tube that runs from the bladder to outside the body, to help keep it closed until you need to pass urine. Once the bladder is full, a signal is sent to the brain that you need to pass urine. When you are ready, the brain tells the pelvic floor muscles to relax and open the urethra. The muscles around the bladder contract and push the urine out.
A problem in any part of this process can result in urinary incontinence.
Types of urinary incontinence
Professional advice should be sought if you have any concerns with regards to this condition. There are several types of urinary incontinence, but the most common are:
• Stress incontinence, when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination, causing urine to leak when your bladder is under pressure, for example when you cough or laugh
• Urge incontinence, when urine leaks at the same time or just after you feel an intense urge to pass urine
These two types of urinary incontinence are thought to be responsible for over 9 out of 10 cases. It is also possible to have a mixture of both stress and urge urinary incontinence.
Figures from a study that included the UK found that 13% of women had some degree of urinary incontinence. In general, urinary incontinence affects twice as many women as men and becomes more common with increasing age.
Urinary incontinence can be a difficult and distressing problem. A lot of people think that it is an inevitable part of ageing, but there are effective treatments including:
• Lifestyle changes e.g. losing weight
• Pelvic floor muscle training (exercising your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing them)
• Bladder training, so you can wait longer between needing to urinate and passing urine
Studies from around the world suggest that conservative treatments, such as those above, can improve stress or mixed urinary incontinence in women by two-thirds.
Issues around Incontinence
Some physical conditions such as painful spasms, infections and skin soreness can develop. This can be managed by several types of products e.g. including pads, pants, barriers creams. These issues are considered relatively minor but they can cause considerable anguish and discomfort.
This condition can cause severe social embarrassment. Although the majority of sufferers are mature women, incontinence can affect younger people as well as men. It can greatly affect behaviour and activity. Fear of leakage in public can give rise to “strange” behaviour. Trips can be planned around toilet breaks, opportunities are refused that may put them in a potentially awkward situation and even intimate relationships are avoided for fear of the condition arising. Sufferers can have a severely affected social lifestyle and as result anxiety and depression is a real possibility. Awareness and understanding is essential and as a result, incontinence can be managed into a perfectly normal lifestyle.
Procter Healthcare Incontinence Supplies
Speaking to healthcare professionals and getting the right advice and treatments is important for anyone with this condition. Once assessed, management can be straightforward. There are many products on the market that help as well as being discreet. At Procter Healthcare we see many customers with a wide range in severity of incontinence. Pads, pants and protection are available to help everyone- independent of sex, age and size.
Pads can be inserted into Regular pants or some can be used with any underwear. Incontinence pants usually have a pouch to insert disposable pads. Styles are available that allow for fashion trends. For heavy flow sufferers, disposable diaper type products are available, which are also useful for times where opportunities for toilet breaks are difficult. We also stock a wide variety of wipes to help avoid skin problems.
Our main supplier of Incontinence Pads and Pants is Lille. The range has proven to out perform most of the other well known brands, and a price that is much more affordable. They started life of as Kendall and Ganmill now just “Lille” ( or Lil in some older package cases!) Look at the range and select the level of absorbency, and if you require assistance or advice on, Disposable Pads and Pants, Wipes, Bed and Chair Protection, our staff are discreet and highly professional. For ease of reference and repeat ordering, each product has a unique 4 digit code. Some have -02 or-03 extension but this is solely to indicate a product or package update- the first 4 figures are the only relevant ones.
Advice is on hand by any of our staff, who can discuss the merits and issues with all our products, though we understand that some people prefer the anonymity of online ordering. Hopefully our descriptions are clear enough but please feel free to comment on our products and service.