This week is National Women’s Health Week, which was created as an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal of the initiative is to encourage women to put their health first. National Women’s Health Week begins every year on Mother’s Day, which is appropriate as women often put the health of their children and spouse above their own. However, it’s important for women to take care of themselves too, which is why we encourage you to read more about National Women’s Health Week here.
Why Are Women More Susceptible to Urinary Incontinence?
More than 13 million people suffer from some form of urinary incontinence, but did you know that women are twice as likely to experience incontinence as men? That’s because childbirth, menopause, and the basic structure of the female urinary tract are risk factors for incontinence.
Urinary incontinence occurs when muscles weaken in the urinary tract or when the urinary tract or nerves surrounding it are damaged. It can also occur during a time period of emotional stress or weight gain. Specific medications can cause urinary incontinence as well.
In general, there are two types of urinary incontinence that women need to be concerned with: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence for women. If you have ever experienced an accidental release of urine after laughing or sneezing, this is stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is a condition where you suddenly feel a strong urge to urinate without warning. Some women have mixed incontinence, which is a combination of both.
If you have experienced symptoms of urinary incontinence, don’t dismiss it as something that just happens as you age. Although urinary incontinence doesn’t typically result in serious health problems, it can be embarrassing and may cause you to adjust your social life. This is unnecessary as there are treatments and incontinence supplies available that can drastically improve your situation.
This is why it’s important to go to a doctor so he or she can assess why you’re experiencing incontinence and offer a formal diagnosis. You may be asked to complete a bladder journal or given diagnostic tests to help your doctor get a better understanding of what’s going on. Regarding treatment, it could include exercises, diet changes, medicines, a pessary, or a combination of these.
As we observe National Women’s Health Week, we urge you to take control of your health too.