There is no one answer to this question as incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which are unrelated to age. However, some experts believe that incontinence is a natural part of the aging process, and that as people age, their bodies become less able to control their bladder muscles. While there is no sure way to prevent incontinence, there are treatments available that can help manage the condition.
How Many People Experience Urinary Incontinence?
You might be surprised how many more adults than previously thought to experience urinary incontinence in their lives. While it is true that most of them are older adults, they are not the only demographic that makes up the statistics. The National Institute on Aging reveals that close to one in three people over the age of 65 have this issue. In fact, the numbers are considerably high for everyone over 45, especially women who have been pregnant in the past.
Of course, these numbers are not a direct account of everyone who has been bothered by this issue. Many people simply suffer in silence and do not talk to their doctors about it or even buy special products to help. The numbers may be quite different overall. Rest assured, however, that if you are experiencing incontinence as you age, you are not alone.
Other Causes of Incontinence
While age is one of the most common reasons people leak urine or have difficulty controlling their bladder, there are other causes. Pregnancy and the stress carrying and giving birth to a baby puts on a woman’s body tops the list. This can greatly weaken the pelvic floor muscles and even damage nerves that control the impulses to urinate. Nerve damage from injury or other illness can also occur. Excess weight is another contributing factor.
What Can You Do to Help Prevent It?
Of course, no one can stop the progress of time. If urinary incontinence is a natural part of the aging process, it may seem like there is nothing you can do to prevent it. However, there are some methods that can help in many cases. The most common one is to do exercises intended to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Many women know about Kegel exercises from when they were pregnant in the past. Men can also adopt certain habits to support their bladder and urinary system.
In some cases, medication and other treatment options are available. Some physicians recommend surgery for certain unique cases. The most important thing you can do if you experience urinary incontinence is to talk with your doctor. You do not have to accept that it is a natural and inevitable part of the aging process. At the very least, there are many products like absorbent underwear to help you stay comfortable and confident every day.
While urinary incontinence is a common problem for older adults, it is not an automatic part of the aging process. Also, there are many other things that can cause it, and it is important to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing any leaks. You may have treatment options available to you.