Mixed Urinary Incontinence
Mixed urinary incontinence (UI) is the involuntary and urgent leakage of urine as a result of exertion; such as sneezing, exercising and coughing. It is a combination of both stress UI and urge UI, and as such is considered to have a greater impact on quality of life than each of them separately, with 32% of sufferers aged 40-64 reporting symptoms of depression.
There are many treatments available for mixed incontinence, with both those for stress UI and urge UI benefiting you. So there is no reason to allow your incontinence to go untreated for longer than needed. Even though it is not life threatening, it can greatly reduce your quality of life as it develops into fully emptying your bladder each time it is put under pressure.
Symptoms of Mixed Urinary Incontinence
If you suffer from mixed UI, you may leak urine:
- if you touch or hear running water
- when you have drank only a small amount of water
- when you are asleep
- when you sneeze, cough or laugh
- when you are exercising
Causes of Mixed Urinary Incontinence
The detrusor smooth muscle is the main muscle in the bladder wall, it contracts to expel urine from the body, otherwise it is relaxed to allow the bladder to fill with urine. To urinate the urethra relaxes in coordination with the bladder contracting, otherwise the urethra is empty and unconsciously contracted to prevent leaks. Issues with bladder functionality always relate to the coordination and efficiency of these organs; as a result of physcological issues, damage to the associated nerves, a pelvic organ prolapse will experience mixed UI as the bladder and urethra become unsupported by the pelvic floor and more vulnerable.
To read more about these causes, and the events that can lead to you developing any form of urinary incontinence, visit the Causes and Diagnosis page.
How to Stop Mixed Urinary Incontinence
As the symptoms of mixed UI can vary in intensity and frequency, recommending treatments without examination is difficult. However, treatments include those for both stress UI and urge UI; behaviour and lifestyle changes, alongside pelvic floor muscles exercises. Surgery is available, however is reserved for extreme cases due to its comparatively low success rate at improving the condition, and its reduced success over time.
20-30% of individuals suffering from mixed urinary incontinence are considered to have chronic incontinence. This means their symptoms are unlikely to be greatly improved with conservative therapy's alone. In this situation your GP may prescribe a course of medicine as well, to help relax your detrusor muscle.
To read about the other treatments available for general urinary incontinence, visit our incontinence treatment page.
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