Urinary incontinence treatment with exercise app may lead to fewer leakages and improved quality of life

By: Devon Andre | Bladder | Friday, September 16, 2016 - 01:00 PM

Urinary Inconstinence

Urinary incontinence treatment with exercise app may lead to fewer leakages and improved quality of life. Researcher Eva Samuelsson said, “The results of our evaluation clearly show that the app Tät® was efficient as a first-line treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence. Self-managed exercises also seem to be an appreciated form of treatment, which is why we have made the app available free for everyone.”

The research project known as eContinence aims to develop eTreatments for urinary incontinence.

So far, the app has been tested on 123 participants from Sweden who used the app for three months. They were compared to the control group who did not use the app. Self-reported results showed that those who used the app experienced fewer bladder leakages and greater quality of life, and reduced their use of urinary pads.

General practitioner Ina Asklund added, “We are aware that many women with these problems never seek help in usual health care. Instead, they seek information on their own. By offering treatment via an app, we are hoping that more women will discover and gain access to efficient treatment.”

Causes of urinary incontinence

 Up to a third of women in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence (UI). About 33 million have overactive bladder (OAB), which means they feel urgency, and/or frequency with or without urge incontinence.

Research shows that while urinary incontinence risk can be linked to aging, it can also be associated with pregnancy, delivery, and the number of children you have. It doesn’t matter whether you have a vaginal or C-section delivery, the risk is still the same. Studies also indicate that women can experience urinary incontinence after menopause due to the drop in estrogen, yet taking estrogen doesn’t seem to help those who suffer from UI. As mentioned above, excess weight can also increase your risk of getting urinary incontinence.

The type of incontinence a person has depend on the cause. For instance, if you suffer from stress incontinence, the pelvic floor muscles have likely lost some of their strength. This could be due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, a hysterectomy, another type of surgery, aging, or obesity.

If overflow incontinence is the diagnosis, that means there is a bladder blockage, making it hard to empty completely. As a result, pressure builds up, causing leaking. This could be due to a tumor pressing on the bladder, constipation, or urinary stones.

Urinary incontinence can sometimes be caused by medications such as muscle relaxants, diuretics, and sedatives. Certain food and drinks can trigger episodes of UI.  Those who drink large amounts of alcohol can experience urinary incontinence because the muscles around the bladder become too relaxed.  On the other side of the spectrum, dehydration can cause UI. This happens because urine can become highly concentrated, and the concentrated salts can irritate the bladder, leading to incontinence.

In some situations, a person has a urinary tract infection, which triggers a strong urge to urinate. This is not a chronic UI, but an infection that needs to be treated.

Living with urinary incontinence can be a major inconvenience, but hiding the fact that you have this problem from your doctor will only prolong and even worsen the situation. If you experience any of the symptoms described here, see a doctor to get some relief.


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Related Reading:

Incontinence products and natural tips to manage urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence in men: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Sources:

http://www.medfak.umu.se/english/about-the-faculty/news/newsdetailpage/exercise-app-reduces-incontinence.cid273161

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