Urinary Incontinence In Old Age

By : Godoctr Team    Posted : 01-06-2016    2517    1    Like
Urinary Incontinence In Old Age

Urinary incontinence is one of the major problems faced by the geriatric population. Immobilisation for a long time and confusion is associated with acute illness often leads to loss of bladder control. Incontinence may vanish with resolution of illness or may persist in several cases.

There may be several causes of this few are listed below:

It may be due to damage of a brain part known as cerebral cortex with damage to normal bladder inhibition as seen in many diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s etc.  The bladder becomes small in size and has increased tone which requires recurrent emptying of the bladder.

Another common cause is diabetes. The nerves undergo degeneration in severe diabetes. The bladder is large in size and loses its tone and there is continuous dribbling overflow incontinence.

In postmenopausal women it can be due to changes in the vagina and is usually accompanied by same kind of abnormalities in the urethra and mucosa. Weakness of pelvic floor muscles can be seen.  The problem further increases due to lack of oestrogen which gives a hike in urinary frequency.

Other important causes can be incontinence due to prostate enlargement in men or due to pressure on bladder because of faecal impaction or stress.


  • Proper and adequate toilet training is required in most of the cases. It plays a vital role as patient is taught to empty his bladder periodically.
  • Faecal impaction if present should be treated.
  • Prostatectomy or removal of enlarged prostate gland can be performed to release pressure on bladder.
  • In case of atrophic vagina in postmenopausal women, oestrogen creams may curb the problem to a certain extent.
  • Patient with stress or pelvic floor muscle weakness can be prescribed with exercises to strengthen those muscles.
  • At last if problem persist it can be managed by use of incontinence pads, catheters or marsupial pants.

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