Urinary incontinence is a very common condition that few people are comfortable talking about. There is a stigma surrounding it, which means that people seldom seek help for it from a doctor. According to the American Urological Association, one-quarter to one-third of men and women in the United States experience urinary incontinence.
The condition occurs more often as you get older, but that does not mean that it is an inevitable consequence of aging. If left unchecked, urinary incontinence can get worse with time and will affect your daily routine.
It is important, therefore, to see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms associated with the condition. For the doctors, it is equally imperative to correctly diagnose and treat the underlying cause, as well as ensuring that the diagnosis/procedure is accurately documented and coded to help with the national morbidity statistics.
This article describes the symptoms and causes behind incontinence, the various types and the ICD 9 codes for urinary incontinence. Let’s dig in!
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence or UI is the involuntary loss of urine or when a person cannot prevent urine from leaking out. Incontinence happens when the muscles in the bladder relax or contract involuntarily, which results in uncontrolled leakage of urine. UI is not a disease itself, but a group of symptoms that can be a sign of an underlying health problem.
UI occurs more often in women than men because women have a shorter urethra which makes it more likely to cause urinary incontinence in case of damage or weakness to the urethra, as there is less muscle that keeps the urine in your bladder when you have an urge.
Causes range from pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and even a bout of coughing. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong you don’t get to a toilet in time.
Symptoms for Urinary Incontinence
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should definitely see a doctor:
· Urine leakage when performing normal activities such as exercising, bending, coughing or lifting
· Urine leakage without any warning or urge
· Bed wetting
· Strong, sudden urges to urinate
· Frequent trips to the toilet
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are various different types of UI, including:
Also known as overactive bladder, this condition is characterized by an urge to urinate and the person finds themselves unable to hold back the urine in time to get to a bathroom. This condition commonly occurs in people who have diabetes or have had a stroke.
Stress incontinence occurs when there is unexpected leakage of urine caused by pressure or sudden muscle contractions on the bladder. Usually, stress incontinence happens during heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing or exercise. This is one of the most common incontinence found in middle-aged women.
Commonly found in people with spinal cord injuries or diabetes, this incontinence happens when a person is unable to completely empty their bladder.
This type of incontinence has less to do with a bladder disorder and more to do with the logistics of getting to a bathroom in time. It’s usually found in elderly or disabled people who have normal or near normal bladder control but cannot get to the toilet in time because of mobility limitations or confusion.