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Is Urinary Incontinence a Normal Part of Aging?

April 29, 2014 1 min read

    “My elderly grandmother has been having trouble controlling her bladder. I don’t know what’s the problem. Is it because she’s getting old?”

As we grow old, we’re not as strong and active as we used to be. Walking takes a little longer. Putting on clothes gets a little harder. And our bladder may get a little weaker.

Urinary incontinence does commonly affect elderly people; however it is not a normal sign of aging and should not be considered so. Elderly people have a higher chance of developing disease and conditions that can lead to bladder control problems. Such conditions may include diabetes, nerve damage, prostate cancer in men, and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) disorder. Women going through menopause may also experience leakage problems. Estrogen levels tend to decrease during menopause, and when estrogen levels low, vaginal tissues start to thin and become dry. This can trigger bladder spasms.

Urinary incontinence is a symptom of an underlying problem; your grandmother may have some sort of undetected medical ailment. The bladder leakage can also be attributed to constipation or a urinary tract infection. Or it could be something your grandmother ate or drink.

The causes of urinary incontinence are endless. If the problem persists, take your grandmother to see the doctor. Remember that incontinence does often affect the elderly, but aging is not a direct cause of the problem. In fact, urinary incontinence affects people of all ages, young and old. Fortunately, incontinence is highly treatable and can also be managed by absorbent undergarments.


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