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What is Urinary Incontinence in Young Adults?

A Condition that Affects All Ages


When you think of Urinary Incontinence, you generally associate it with middle to old age. While many older people do experience Urinary Incontinence, it is also quite prevalent in young adults. There are so many reasons for young adults to acquire this condition, it’s more common than you would think.


According to the National Association for Continence, an estimated one third of Americans have experienced loss of bladder control at some point in their life. Apparently, 17% of those people are ages 30 – 39. Another Survey taken by the National Association for Continence reveals 24% of women ages 25 – 44 have experienced Urinary Incontinence. Researchers have found in a study of 1,000 women aged 16 to 30, who had never been pregnant, found one in eight had incontinence. The most common type of Urinary Incontinence found in women is Stress Urinary Incontinence.


While the statistics provided above discuss Urinary Incontinence in women, it greatly affects men as well. It is said that women experience bladder leakage twice as much as men. This may be due to the fact that men are less likely to report bladder leakage. Studies show that many young men would rather admit to impotence than incontinence. The most common type of Urinary Incontinence in young men is Overactive Bladder. It is very common. Almost more so than diabetes.


Because women are more likely to report their bladder leakage, there are more support groups for women with Urinary Incontinence. Thanks to modern technology, young men have found talking on forums to be very helpful. In these forums, both men and women, are realizing that the more you talk about it the better you feel. When you discuss your symptoms you are relieving yourself of the stigma, and finding treatment!


Urinary Incontinence is no fun for anyone, no matter what your age is. But because it is associated more with older age, young people tend to carry more shame with their condition. Younger people with Urinary Incontinence tend to talk about it less, prolonging treatment and possibly worsening their symptoms.


There are a great many causes for Urinary Incontinence in young adults. These causes range from childbirth, injuries, and medical conditions like spina bifida. Other causes include chronic Urinary Tract Infections, obesity, smoking, injury and diabetes. Some people are born with a predisposition to Urinary Incontinence. Blame your parents! But in general it comes down to the fact that your pelvic floor muscles have weakened for whatever reason.


If there is nothing wrong with your health, it could be a psychological issue. Depression and anxiety can cause incontinence. If you feel you have little control over your life, your body may react to that mindset. Spurts of leakage can come with spurts of anxiety. This may happen frequently. If you believe you have no control over your bladder, then you expect to lose control and leakage occurs. Adult bedwetting may occur for these reasons as well. Many people with depression and or anxiety also get less sleep. The less sleep you have, the less time your body has to regenerate, so your muscles and health decline. Also, if you are tired all the time it might be harder to control your bladder. When there is no hard-medical diagnosis for your youth incontinence, talking to therapist or psychiatrist may help.


Urinary Incontinence in young adults is not  a life sentence. There are plenty of treatments. And because you are young it is easier for you to bounce back.

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