As a sophomore at the University of Maryland, Jennifer is busy keeping up with a 15-hour course load and taking advantage of the many social opportunities college life as offer. She is also the star of her track/field team and trains up to four hours daily, six days a week. Recently, Jennifer has not felt comfortable changing after workouts. When a teammate asked her why she was always in such a hurry to get back to her room, she simply replied that she needed to study. In reality, Jennifer has noticed that she is leaking urine during workouts and is embarrassed that her teammates will find out.
During an annual check-up with her OB/GYN, Jennifer considers discussing her “secret” with the nurse, yet doesn’t know how to bring up the subject. The Self Evaluation Checklist provides the guidelines to follow to determine if Jennifer is one of the highly fit female athletes who may experience urinary incontinence during physical stress and effective treatment recommendation.
Category Age 25 – 45: The Child Bearing Women
Source: Bard Incontinence
Faced with having to make decision between a fast-track job in real estate and having her first child — Susan Churnchill chose the latter. At 35, Susan’s days are full of carpooling, cooking and maintaining a house in Naperville, Illinois. Because she took good care of herself, she didn’t anticipate having the predicated after effects of childbearing such as urine leakage. However, after the birth of her second child, she began to notice occasional leakage. Susan generally schedules her own doctor’s appointments around her children’ activities. For convenience, she sees her family physician for both gynaecological and regular physical exams.
Susan is now being weighed by the nurse and wondering how she will bring up her problem. The Self Evaluation Checklist provides the guidelines to follow to determine if Susan may suffer from urinary incontinence and steps to take to ensure an effective treatment recommendation.
Category Age 45 – 60: The Menopausal Woman
Source: Bard Incontinence
Fifty three-year old Barbara Contos works at a local association in Westchester, New York. Her 23-year old daughter, Regina, works in nearby New York City for a women’s magazine. Barbara loves her family, but was looking forward to having time to focus on her own life when her daughter moved away from home. Recently, however, she has been struggling with the mental and physical changes the notices daily. For example, Barbara loses her temper over things that usually wouldn’t have bothered her — in addition, she is experiencing urine leakage and lost interest in having sex with her husband, John. The hardest part of coping with these changes is not knowing who to talk with about them.
Barbara wanted to bring the subject up with her family doctor but she didn’t feel comfortable talking about such a personal matter and wasn’t sure if the problems she was having required medical care. A friend suggested she visit her gynaecologist and now she is sitting in your waiting room. The Self Evaluation Checklist provides the guidelines to follow to determine if Barbara is like one of six women in her age group who may experience urine leakage and steps to take to ensure an effective treatment recommendation.
Category Age 60+: The Mature Woman in the Community
Source: Bard Incontinence
At 69, Rose was determined not to let her age slow her down. Two years ago, Rose began to notice that she was experiencing some urine leakage. This is inconvenience quickly turned into a regular medical problem — one that required almost constant attention. Rose found that taking care of her medical needs stole almost all of her energy, leaving her too tired to maintain her house. It wasn’t easy, buy eventually Rose heeded her family’s advice and moved into a retirement community with medical facilities. The burden of living alone was removed from Rose’s shoulders and she could spend more time living. Rose’s way is how to tell the community staff about her problem.
Rose has scheduled her first appointment with the nurse for this morning and is wondering how to tell the community staff about her problem. The Self Evaluation Checklist provides the guidelines to follow to determine if Rose may have stress incontinence and steps to take to ensure an effective treatment recommendation.
Self Evaluation Checklist
Please answer the following questions to determine your bladder health. If you answer “yes” to several of the questions, we suggest you discuss the answers with your healthcare practitioner in a timely manner.
Do you leak urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, exercise or during position change?
After feeling a strong urge to urinate, are you unable to make it to the toilet before urine begins to leak out?
Do you feel that your bladder does not empty entirely — do you “bear down” to empty your bladder?
Have you tried exercises for incontinence (Kegel), but failed to get results?
Have you altered your sexual activity due to urine leakage?
Have you curtailed participation in leisure activities such as travelling, meeting friends dating/dancing because of the threat of urine leakage?
Mrs Lee & Mrs Wu …
Mrs. Lee is 50. She suffers from menopause that affects her both physically and mentally. Meanwhile, slight urine leakage bothers her too. She thought she was the only one embarrassed by urine leakage, but after talking with her friends, she realized that many women at the same age also have this problem.
Mrs. Wu is 40, who have given birth to 3 children. However, since she delivered the third baby 8 year’s age, she has been suffering from slight urine leakage every day. Therefore, she stops participating in any outdoor activities; when shopping, she even has to choose the department stores where bathrooms are easily available.
The above-mentioned cases are the main reasons for women’s urine leakage. Women after menopause are more fragile due to the atrophy of the urethra and the vagina wall caused by the decreasing production of female hormone. 50% of women over 60 suffer from urine leakage because the inflexible urethra fails to block the urethra mouth. Slight urine leakage occurs to women after pregnancy because of the pressure brought by baby’s weight and the process of delivery. Therefore, pelvic floor-muscles lose the flexibility temporarily or permanently. Under this circumstance, Kegel exercise during pregnancy is crucial. It helps you strengthen those pelvic floor-muscles to avoid urine leakage after pregnancy.
Mrs Huang & Mrs Lee …
Mrs. Huang is 60, who participates in the dancing club in her community club last year. Recently she found out she has slight urine leakage whenever she starts to dance.
Mrs. Lee is 72, who have been suffering from urine leakage in recent years. When she feels like urinating, urine leaks before she makes it to the bathroom. Looking for a bathroom therefore becomes her No.1 priority on the checklist whenever she goes out, which is really embarrassing.
According to research, more than 50% of women suffer from urine leakage in conditions, when abdominal pressure is increased, like coughing or exercising, while 70% of women stop all exercises. It is a pity because exercise makes them healthy. Another 20%-30% of women starts to have urine leakage when feeling the urge of urinate. This problem affects their social lives because some of them dare not even go outside, which seriously influences their quality of life.
If you think you may be experiencing stress urinary incontinence, you are not alone. Stress urinary incontinence is a significant women’s health issue that affects millions of people.
Yet many women still believe that their condition should remain a secret — that it is untreatable or simply a part of aging. In fact, more that 30 percent of women with stress urinary incontinence have never discussed their condition with a health care provider — and more than one in ten women are not even aware that health care providers can help.
There are numerous treatment options available.
Women from age 18 and older may experience stress urinary incontinence and tend to fall into four categories: the female athlete (ages 18-28), the childbearing woman (ages 25-45), menopausal woman (ages 45-60) and the mature woman in the community (ages 60 and over).
Help educate yourself or someone you care about by carefully the above profiles and by consulting your health care provider for further information on stress incontinence.