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Management of stress incontinence - Essay Example

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Institution Tutor Managing Stress Incontinence Course/Number Date Department Introduction Stress incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence which is also known as effort incontinence or the stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Thus, simply put, stress incontinence is the involuntary or unintentional loss or discharge of urine…
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Download file to see previous pages Stress incontinence can therefore be seen to be unrelated with psychological stress, though it remains the commonest form of urinary incontinence. Thus, the definition of stress incontinence as leakage of urine as a result of straining, coughing, sneezing, or sudden voluntary movement due to incompetence of the sphyncteric mechanisms can be lent credence. According to Chapple and Cardozo (2006, 16), women have been found to be more prone to stress incontinence, compared to men. Statistical provisions from reputable researchers point out that the preponderance of stress incontinence among women increases with age, so that 1 in 5 women who are over 40 suffer from some degree of stress incontinence. Becker (2005, 11) is poignant that those who experience stress incontinence are always subject to embarrassment, isolation, underperformance at the workplace, and a receding social life, especially when leisure activities and exercise form part of this social life. This makes management of stress incontinence a crucial undertaking which has been much celebrated. Management of Stress Incontinence There are several approaches to managing stress incontinence. Many medical practitioners heavily rely on physiotherapy. This involves, subjecting the patient to (prescribed) exercises, as a way of strengthening pelvic floor muscles. Since the target is mainly strengthening pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor exercises form the main part of this prescription. The applicability of using exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles is based on the fact that kidneys constantly make urine. Because of this, trickles of urine constantly pass to the bladder, before going down to the ureters. The urters are tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder. The amount of urine a person makes depends on how much an individual drinks, eats and sweats (Collier and Longmore, 2003, 61). The crux of the matter herein is that the bladder comprises muscles, and also stores urine. That the bladder is elastic is underscored by it expanding like a balloon as it gets filled with urine. The urethra as the outlet for urine remains closed. It is the pelvic floor muscles that regulate the opening and closing of the urethra. As a certain amount of urine fills the bladder, one becomes aware of having a full bladder. On going to the lavatory to pass urine, the muscles of the bladder contract and squeeze the urethra. The pelvic floor muscles then get to relax. Complex nerve messages are relayed to the brain as the central nervous system, the bladder and then the pelvic floor muscles. It is these messages that prompt a person, informing him that his bladder is full and also prompt the right muscles to either relax or contract at the right time. Thus, the foregoing clearly shows that prescribing pelvic floor exercises for the stress incontinent will help tighten the muscles of the urethra and the bladder, and thereby helping stop unintended flow of urine. According to Bo, (2007, 34 a) and Gartley (2012, 75), kegel exercises have also been recommended as the best way of retraining and strengthening sphincter and pelvic floor muscles, as a way of reducing stress leakage. Kegel exercises have mostly proven most beneficial to those below 60 years. To this effect, it is a standard observation that the patient should do at least do 24 contractions daily, for at least 42 days (6 weeks). The physiotherapist ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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