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2nd of 4 parts reviewing Urinary Incontinence - this week - Causes and Diagnosis

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Urinary Incontinence

Part 2

Overactive bladder (OAB) is the most common cause if urinary incontinence. Last week I discussed types.



OAB is common and can affect people of any age from children to elderly. Over one in ten adults have OAB. The cause is often unknown. Anxiety can make the problem worse, but this becomes a vicious cycle as OAB can exacerbate anxiety. Stress can also have an influence. The amount and types of fluids drank can influence symptoms. Some drinks such as tea and coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks can make it worse. Nicotine can irritate bladder muscle thus increasing risk of bladder contraction and urgency. Constipation can increase pressure the bladder so can be a factor. People with neurological disease are more at risk of OAB. Other risk factors include diabetes that is poorly controlled (probably due to nerve damage caused by diabetes), chronic pelvic pain and poor mobility.




The likes of urinary tract infections and neurological problems will need to be ruled out. Diagnosis will depend on the doctor assessing the mix of symptoms the patient describes, an internal examination, urine tests to rule of urine infections and/or a 3-day Bladder Diary to record the times of passing urine and volumes passed.


If symptoms fail to respond to treatment such as changing drinking habits, bladder training and medication, the next option may be an invasive urodynamic test, which is a special test to measure pressures inside the bladder. This is to diagnose whether it is overactive bladder or whether another problem is the cause of symptoms.


Incontinence Wear


The most popular incontinence products are absorbent pads that are worn inside underwear to soak up urine and pants that look and feel much like normal underwear. Nowadays continence wear is discreet. Pads and pull-up pants use the same technology as babies’ nappes meaning they have a “hydrophobic layer” that draws water away from the skin meaning there is no wet sensation on the skin.


Incontinence wear can help you live life to the full

In years gone by, incontinence wear was something of a taboo subject with many being too embarrassed to wear it. This attitude is changing. Improved incontinence wear technology allows people to lead a fulfilled life despite living with incontinence issues. Modern products is discreet, comfortable, prevent leakages and have dry-wear technology that prevents feelings of wetness. If you are living with bladder weakness issues, contacting your GP or healthcare professional is always a good place to start and remember one in three women suffer from incontinence so there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.


Id Expert® Range at Whelehans Pharmacies

iD Expert® offer a range of discreet pads and pants for men and women at a great price range that look and feel like your normal underwear. The iD Expert® range is available from Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar.


To be continued…next week I discuss treatment.


References upon request



For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Email queries to Find us on Facebook.

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