Overflow Incontinence: When Leaking Never Stops
Urinary incontinence takes on many different types and if you’re one of the many who is tormented from overflow incontinence, you’ll have different symptoms. Although it all ends up with urine leakage, for this particular kind, sufferers never seem to feel complete voiding and also they never have the urge or feel to urinate. It can be seen as one of the worse cases for incontinence because here, the bladder never empties itself up and small amounts of urine leak endlessly. In terms of who are more at risk for overflow incontinence, it would be men with enlarged prostate and also older men.
The Symptoms of Overflow Incontinence
If you experience one or more of the following, you have to set an appointment with your doctor.
- Dribbling urine. This occurs even after voiding.
- Being unable to void, even when an urge to urinate is felt.
- Nighttime urination.
- The bladder never feels empty.
What Causes Overflow Incontinence
- Weak muscles in the bladder are usually the culprit for this condition. Being weak, squeezing the bladder empty is impossible.
- If the sufferer sustains an injury to the nerves that is connected or works for the bladder, urinary incontinence is a consequence.
- Nerve damage doesn’t have to be from injury. It can also come from diseases like alcoholism, spina bifida, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
- Blockages in the urethra like urinary stones, scar tissues, tumors and even swelling from infection can cause overflow incontinence.
- Medications can also be the culprit for overflow incontinence. You can suffer from urine leakage if you are taking medications that affect the nerve signals to the urinary systems, more specifically, the bladder. These medications include anticonvulsants and antidepressants.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia can also lead to the development of this condition.
- Neurogenic bladder, in other words, an underactive bladder.
How This Kind of Incontinence is Diagnosed
If you think that having urine leakage is a fairly common thing for you, it’s best to speak with your doctor immediately. When the type of incontinence is determined, the best treatment for your condition will start. Be prepared to answer questions about overflow incontinence like how often do you go to relieve yourself, do you leak urine when you do some specific activities, are you prone to urinary tract infections, do you experience any pain or a burning sensation when you urinate. Take note, that answering all these questions truthfully will lead your doctor closer to diagnosing overflow incontinence.
Physical examination will also take place where your physician will check for any signs of injury or damage to your nerves that work on the rectum and the bladder. Based on the findings here, you might be referred to a specialist like a neurologist or more tests will be performed.
Tests for Determining Overflow Incontinence
- Bladder stress test
- Q-tip test
- Urine culture
If the tests come out inconclusive, urodynamic testing might be ordered for getting the diagnosis for overflow incontinence. Here, the bladder will be evaluated in terms of pressure, contractions, nerve signals, leakage and urine flow.
Methods of Treatment
As challenging as the determination of overflow incontinence, treatment for this condition can also be a bit difficult. It might require medication, treatment devices or even a combination of both. All these methods will first have to be used before surgery will be done. For the most part, surgery is the option when overflow incontinence is caused by obstructions like prostate enlargement.
Many people find relief in taking medications. Some of the most popular names are Cardura, Minipress, Hytrin and Flomax. These medications relax sphincter muscles for allowing urine to pass.
As for the devices for overflow incontinence, the most effective one is the catheter. It’s a tube that you insert into your urethra so that the bladder can be completely emptied of urine. Don’t worry, a nurse or your doctor will teach you on the right way to handle the catheter. Using single use devices, you wouldn’t have a problem with not completely emptying your bladder. You can carry this device with you and dispose of it after usage.
Even for the worse cases for urinary incontinence like the overflow incontinence, you have a number of ways of stopping from dribbling urine and leaking urine so you can live life more comfortably.