Incontinence is a surprisingly common problem among women with 25% to 45% of women dealing with some form of the condition within the last year. The likelihood of developing urinary incontinence increases with age, but there are several other factors that can make women in their early 20s more susceptible. Whatever the cause of incontinence, it can have a huge impact on confidence and self-esteem and can make women reluctant to engage in sexual intercourse.
Types of Incontinence
Temporary incontinence has a number of causes including urinary tract infection, constipation or excessive consumption of diuretics such as alcohol or caffeine. Once the underlying issue is treated, then temporary incontinence usually clears up on its own. Stress incontinence is caused by a weakening of the muscles in the pelvic floor and urinary sphincter which can lead to urine leakage after sneezing, laughing, bending or even during intercourse.
Conditions that Led to Stress Incontinence
There are many factors that can cause the muscles that support the bladder to become weak such as pregnancy, childbirth, and excessive coughing or high-impact activities. Older women and those that have passed through menopause often develop stress incontinence as the bladder loses some of its capacity to store urine. Any type of surgery involving a woman's reproductive system such as a hysterectomy can also weaken the bladder muscles resulting in stress incontinence.
How Stress Incontinence Affects Sex Life
Any activity that puts stress on the pelvic floor muscles can cause urine leakage including sexual intercourse. Experiencing incontinence during sex can make women reluctant to be intimate with their partners and lead to feelings of shame, anxiety and even depression. A healthy sex life is essential for emotional well-being, so effective treatment should be sought immediately in the event of sexual incontinence. The longer that women delay seeking treatment, the greater the chance of emotional and psychological damage.
How to Treat Stress Incontinence
There are many treatments for stress incontinence that range from simple exercises to try at home to modern treatments that offer instant results. Kegel exercises performed several times a day can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well as vaginal weights that are designed to be used internally. Sexual incontinence can also be prevented by avoiding positions that put pressure on the bladder and urinating before sex. Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP), also known as the O-Shot, has been found to cure 90% of female stress incontinence cases immediately after treatment. PRP injections involve taking a small amount of blood and separating platelets known as chemokines and cytokines from the red and white blood cells. These cells are then injected directly into the vagina to promote tissue rejuvenation and repair damaged cells.
As female stress incontinence can have a negative impact on sex life, it is important for women to communicate their fears and anxieties to their partner. Attempting to ignore the problem will only make it worse in the long-term, and men may feel as though they are being rejected by their partner. Effective treatment can cure female stress incontinence allowing women the freedom to enjoy a full sex life without fears or anxiety.