Is Urinary Incontinence Inevitable? What To Expect As You Age
A lot of adults experience occasional leakage, but not everyone does. Here’s what you should know.
Urinary incontinence can happen to anyone, but it is more common as we grow older. Life events and health conditions can weaken pelvic floor muscles, causing embarrassing leakage. But just because urinary leaks are common doesn’t mean they’re inevitable—or that you can’t do something to treat the symptoms.
Is Urinary Incontinence a Normal Part of Aging?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Over time, the muscles in our bodies weaken, and these include the pelvic floor muscles. A weak pelvic floor is a common cause for stress incontinence, which is when you leak urine when you sneeze, cough, lift something, or otherwise put pressure on your bladder.
Additionally, health conditions can cause bladder control problems, including an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, diabetes, and neurological conditions.
Not Everyone Experiences Bladder Leakage
While there are many age-related risks for bladder control issues, urinary incontinence is not an inevitable part of aging.
We don’t know exactly how many folks struggle with a leaky bladder. According to studies, the number ranges from around 9.9% to 36.1% of adults—and the incidence increases with age. (1) For instance, older women are nearly twice as likely as younger women to have incontinence symptoms. (2)
Not sure if you have bladder control problems? Test your bladder now to find out.
Incontinence Is More Common In Women
Women are more likely than men to experience a leaky bladder. (2) This is due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, along with differences in male and female anatomy.
According to a study published in the Journal of Urology, 51.1% of women and 13.9% of men over 20 have urinary incontinence symptoms. (3) And when it comes to severe incontinence, it is twice as common for women in their 70’s and 80’s than men of the same age.
Can Urinary Incontinence Be Cured?
When you visit your doctor to discuss your bladder control symptoms, they’ll help you discover what type of incontinence you have. They may perform tests to look for underlying causes that might be to blame.
There are also a variety of all-natural strategies that may offer some relief. Here’s a list of a few things you can try to improve bladder control and decrease leakage.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
A leading cause of stress incontinence is a weak pelvic floor. The good news? Simple exercises are an excellent way to increase strength and relieve leakage symptoms naturally.
For an in-depth guide on pelvic floor exercises, check out our Bladder Control Problems? These Exercises May Help article.
Limit Caffeine, Alcohol, and Cigarettes
Alcohol and caffeine are bladder irritants. When you drink too much of either of them, you increase your chances of bladder control issues. Smoking also irritates the bladder, and smoking-related coughing can directly cause urine leakage.
Try Natural Supplements for Bladder Health
Both supplements are all-natural and have undergone clinical testing, with some clients experiencing improvements in occasional leakage.*