Bowel and/or Bladder Incontinence
Bowel and bladder dysfunction refers to problems people experience with passing their urine or eliminating stool. Problems with the bowel or the bladder can lead to incontinence, which is the unwanted or involuntary passage of stool or urine.
There are several different conditions that can affect the muscles and the nerves which are responsible for controlling the elimination of waste products from the body. When these nerves and muscles are not functioning properly, incontinence may result.
Some conditions that affect the bladder include:
Overactive bladder: Just as the name implies, the need to empty the bladder occurs very frequently in this condition, and the need is many times urgent. The urge to urinate many occur as often as eight or more times during the day and two or more times throughout the night.
Poor sphincter muscle control: Normally, you are able to tighten your sphincter muscles to control the flow of urine, and relax them to urinate. If the nerves that send signals to these sphincters are damaged, you may not be able to control the flow of urine, resulting in urine leakage or a complete lack of bladder control.
Urinary retention: This is a condition in which urine is held in the bladder too long. Urinary retention can lead to infection or bladder or kidney damage. The condition can be caused by damage to the nerves that help send chemical messages to your bladder indicating it is time to be emptied.
Fecal incontinence: Damage to the nerves that control bowel function can lead to only occasional episodes of stool leakage (Fecal incontinence) or to complete loss of bowel control. This condition may be caused by diarrhea, constipation, and muscle or nerve damage. The last reason may be due to aging or with giving birth.