What is urinary incontinence What causes it

Urinary incontinence: causes

Urinary incontinence can be triggered by one cause alone or - more often - by the interaction of several factors. The most important and most common causal factors include:

Gender: Women suffer from incontinence much more often than men at a young age. The pelvic floor muscles are weaker and less flexible in women, and the wide cross-section of the pelvis and penetration points such as the vagina reduce the elasticity of these muscles. Women also have more events over the course of their lives that can negatively affect continence, including:

  • Pregnancy / birth: In women, the pelvic floor muscles are exposed to increased stress during pregnancy due to an increase in pressure due to the child and the effects during childbirth. Nerve injuries in the pelvic area can occur during labor. The strong pressure during a natural birth can also change the spatial relationship between the bladder and the urethra, so that the sphincter no longer functions properly. The consequences for the bladder can increase with each birth. Incontinence that often occurs immediately after birth usually disappears again (postpartum incontinence).
  • Menopause: The reduced hormone production changes, among other things, the blood flow to the urethra.

Overweight: Excessive excess weight (obesity) leads to a weakness of the connective tissue due to increased fat storage, also in the pelvic floor muscles. In addition, the pressure in the abdomen on the pelvic floor increases.

Age: Age-related changes to the urinary bladder muscles and the sphincter, decreased urine concentration through the kidneys, taking medication, existence of one or more diseases (multimorbidity), enlargement of the prostate in men.

Medication: e.g. diruetics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and cholinergics.

Diseases:Especially chronic respiratory diseases with frequent coughs (e.g. smoker's cough or bronchitis), neurological diseases with impaired information processing (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia), vascular and nerve damage in diabetes mellitus, chronic urinary tract infections (cystitis), chronic constipation, stroke , Heart failure, bladder stones, herniated disc, tumors in the abdomen, paraplegia and malignant diseases of the urinary bladder.