Common Bladder And Bowel Issues Affecting Younger People
According to the Childrens Bowel and Bladder Charity, these are some of the most common bladder and bowel issues that affect teenagers and children.
- Constipation When you defecate fewer than four times per week, its called constipation. Over time, the poo stays in your bowel for too long and dries out. It then becomes painful or difficult to push out, making you avoid going to the toilet.
- Stool Withholding This term is used to describe when people repeatedly avoid pooing. It can cause a blockage of hard stools to form in the bowel, and then fresh stool overflows and leaks around it. When this leakage occurs, it is called soiling.
- Overflow Sometimes, you might feel like you have diarrhoea because you are pooing more than three times per day. However, this could be overflow poo leaking out around a blockage.
- Rectum stretching If you withhold your stool for too long, your rectum can stretch out, and it stops telling your brain when its time to go to the toilet. This can result in faecal incontinence because you simply dont know you need to poo.
What Happens In Enuresis
There are two kinds of enuresis:
- Someone with primary nocturnal enuresis has wet the bed since he or she was a baby. This is the most common type of enuresis.
- Secondary enuresis is a condition that develops at least 6 months or even several years after a person has learned to control their bladder.
The bladder is a muscular receptacle, or holding container, for pee . It expands as pee enters and then contracts to push the pee out.
In a person with normal bladder control:
- Nerves in the bladder wall send a message to the brain when the bladder is full.
- The brain then sends a message back to the bladder to keep it from automatically emptying until the person is ready to go to the bathroom.
But people with nocturnal enuresis have a problem that causes them to pee involuntarily at night.
Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
Overflow incontinence is often caused by an obstruction or blockage in your bladder, which prevents it from emptying fully.
Total incontinence may be caused by a problem with the bladder from birth, a spinal injury, or a small, tunnel like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area .
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
Find out more about the causes of urinary incontinence.
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Why Some Teenagers Also Suffer From Incontinence
We tend to associate uncontrolled urination either with very young children or the elderly. Although it tends to be more common in older people, incontinence can, however, strike at any age.
The involuntary leakage of urine can be embarrassing and confusing at first but most people quickly learn how to manage the situation.
According to Incontinence United Kingdom, urinary incontinence occurs in 3% of fifteen- to sixteen-year-old teenagers. A longitudinal study also showed that one-third of children who experience urinary incontinence in their younger years, will have the condition through puberty and beyond.
Another study by the University of Bristol and published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, showed that in young people urinary incontinence can have a far-reaching impact on their studies and social life. It found that teenagers are hesitant to speak up about their continence problems to their parents, friends and medical professionals due to embarrassment and fear of being teased.
However, hiding the issue will not only have a psychological effect, but may be dangerous if there’s an underlying medical problem that’s causing the incontinence.
Reasons why teenagers experience incontinence
To start proper incontinence management, its important to establish the cause of the condition. There are different types of incontinence:
These types of incontinence can be caused by many factors such as:
See A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
Barring any infection or abnormality of the urinary tract, lack of coordination of the pelvic floor muscles is the most likely culprit in leaking for teen athletes. Working with a pelvic floor physical therapist to promote whole body strength and coordination can help. The same way we rely on coaches for information about our form when we strike out at the plate, we need coaching when it comes to leaking. It’s possible to play hard without peeing.
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Incontinence In Teenagers: Why It Happens And What You Can Do About It
As if you didnt already have enough to worry about.
Basketball tryouts. Exams. Your parents. Your love life.
And now you keep leaking pee every time you laugh or make a sudden move.
Its unnerving and stressful and youre terrified someone will discover your embarrassing secret. But what can you do about teen urinary incontinence?
If you are struggling with the confusion and embarrassment of urinary incontinence, weve got answers.
We give you the stats around incontinence in teenagers, why it can happen, and what you can do about it.
When Is Enuresis A Problem
Many children may have enuresis from time to time. It can take some children longer than others to learn to control their bladder. Girls often have bladder control before boys. Because of this, enuresis is diagnosed in girls earlier than in boys. Girls may be diagnosed as young as age 5. Boys are not diagnosed until at least age 6.
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Causes Of Incontinence In Younger People
Before discussing the most common causes of incontinence in younger people, its important to distinguish between the three main types of urinary incontinence that can affect them:
- Stress Incontinence Stress incontinence can develop if the pelvic floor muscles and/or the urethral sphincter muscles are damaged. Urine is released if you physically exert yourself. Triggers include lifting heavy objects, coughing, sneezing or laughing or lifting a heavy object.
- Urge incontinence The urge to pass urine suddenly. It can often lead to leaking urine if you are unable to get to a toilet quickly.
- Nocturnal enuresis Also known as bedwetting, this occurs when you accidentally leak urine whilst sleeping at night.
Here are some of the most common causes of urinary incontinence in younger people:
Frequent Urination In Teenagers
Puberty can have an impact on your childs bladder health. In most cases, this is due to changes in hormone levels that occur throughout the teenage years. As a result, some teenagers might experience various bladder issues, including:
- Frequent urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Sports injuries or physical injury
Of all the major causes of frequent urination during puberty, a Urinary Tract Infection or is one of the most common bacterial infections that occur during puberty. This is a condition where a person may have an increased urge to urinate it is typically treated with antibiotics.
Bed-wetting through the teenage years is not uncommon as hormones change during puberty. Research suggests that teenagers may experience bed-wetting for multiple reasons including emotional and psychological factors such as hormonal imbalance, mood, trauma, diet, sleep routine, stress and anxiety. In certain cases, teenagers may sleep more deeply and not wake up in time for the bathroom.
Another cause of frequent urination or involuntary urination in teenagers is sporting injuries that may damage the pelvic floor muscles. Frequent urination can also be due to physical conditions such as teenage obesity, pressure on the bladder, constipation, hormone imbalance, cystic fibrosis or physical disability.
Frequent urination may be a sign of a urinary tract infection, diabetes, bladder cancer or endometriosis, so be sure to seek medical advice as needed.
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How Common Is Young Adult And Teenage Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is any involuntary bladder leak. Types of incontinence include:
- Stress Urinary Incontinence : those little oops moments when you sneeze, cough, or laugh also can occur during exercise.
- Urge Urinary Incontinence : when you cant make it to the bathroom on time, including wetting the bed at night.
- Mixed Incontinence : when you experience a combination of SUI and UUI.
Some women with infrequent bladder leaks might be tempted to ignore them and accept the inconvenience, but any amount of uncontrolled urination is incontinence. And if not treated now, incontinence worsens as you age.
Australian researchers surveyed more than 1,000 young women ages 1630 across eight medical clinics and three college campuses. All the participants in this study were healthy, and none had experienced pregnancy. Researchers found that almost 13% of participants reported some type of urinary incontinence: 6% had SUI, 4.5 % reported UUI, and 2% reported MI.
How To Look After A Teenager With Incontinence
It’s a situation that no parent wants to find themselves in: you child comes to you and says they’re having problems with incontinence. While it can be a difficult thing to deal with, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Incontinence is a common problem, especially among teenagers. In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to deal with teenage incontinence.
The first thing you need to do is talk to your teenager about what’s going on. It’s important that they feel comfortable discussing the issue with you so that you can work together to find a solution.Teenagers can sometimes be embarrassed about their incontinence, so it’s important to be understanding and patient.
Once you’ve had a chance to talk about the issue, it’s time to start looking for solutions. There are a number of products available that can help with incontinence, including pads and disposable underwear. These products can make a big difference in your teenager’s quality of life.
Incontinence can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, so it’s important to visit your doctor and rule out any underlying health issues. If your teenager does have incontinence due to a medical condition, there are treatments available that can help.
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Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
Your pelvic floor muscles are found between your pubic bone and tailbone.
These muscles support the functions of your:
- Uterus, in women
When your pelvic muscles are weak, you have a higher risk for urinary incontinence.
If you find yourself struggling in this area, doing special exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can help.
A 2018 studyfound that pelvic floor exercises improved the bladders ability to hold pee and reduced the amount of urine leakage in patients suffering from incontinence.
Here are two simple pelvic floor strengthening exercises you can try for improving incontinence in teenagers.
Heres how you do Kegels exercises:
- Tighten your pelvic muscles and hold them firmly for 5 seconds.
- Slowly release the muscles, relaxing them for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times, three times each day.
Quick Flick Kegels
Heres how you do quick flick Kegel exercises:
- Rapidly contract and release your pelvic floor muscles, repeating the movement 10 times in 10 seconds. Youll feel like youre lifting your pelvis and then quickly lowering it back down again.
- Repeat three times every day.
How Is Overactive Bladder Treated In Children
In most cases, children outgrow the problem of an overactive bladder. For each year after the age of 5, the number of overactive bladder cases declines by 15%. The child may learn to respond in a more timely manner to the bodys signals to urinate or bladder capacity may increase over time. In addition, overactive bladders can settle down, often when stressful events or experiences have ended.
If the child does not outgrow the condition, treatments can include bladder training and medication. In bladder training, the child uses exercises to strengthen and coordinate the urethra and bladder muscles to control urination. Such exercises teach the child to prevent urinating when away from the toilet and to anticipate the urge to urinate. Additional techniques to help overactive bladder include:
- avoiding caffeine or other ingredients that may encourage overactive bladder
- using timed voiding, or urinating on a schedule for example, every two hours
- adopting healthy urination habits, such as taking enough time to urinate and relaxing muscles during urination
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Are There Other Proven Treatments
When incontinence is so severe that its impacting your everyday activities, its time to engage your healthcare provider to look at the many treatment options.
Most physicians will advise you to start with Kegels. But knowing how to contract your pelvic muscles can be tricky, so there are a multitude of devices to help. But not all Kegel exercisers are created equally.
- Kegel trainers help identify your pelvic floor muscles. These devices need to be inserted vaginally and only give you feedback about your Kegels.
- Kegel exercisers actually do your Kegels for you, but some are still invasive because of the vaginal insertion.
- ELITONE is completely noninvasive. This FDA-cleared external stimulation device does your Kegels for you without any insertion.
For example, 18-year-old Maddie was experiencing teenage incontinence. Sports were her life, but she slowly began limiting her workouts because bladder leaks kept her bound to the nearest bathroom. After a while, Maddie wasnt able to exercise at all because her incontinence was so serious. When she asked her physician for help, he suggested an invasive, vaginally inserted instrument to help strengthen her pelvic floor muscles. But as a college student with two roommates, it was impossible for her to use the device in private. And with a full schedule of classes, she was too busy to schedule multiple times a week to focus on her Kegels. Maddie needed another solution, which is how she found ELITONE.
What Are Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels.9 Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.
Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.
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What Are Behaviors Associated With Daytime Wetting
- Urinary urgency: An immediate need to go to the bathroom
- Urinary frequency: Urinates more than 8 times a day.
- Urinary infrequency: Urinates fewer than 3 times a day.
- Incomplete bladder emptying: Does not completely empty the bladder when urinating.
- Holding behaviors: Squatting or squirming, to avoid accidents.
Q How To Cope With Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can more or less become an obstacle in day-to-day activities. Women suffering from this problem can use absorbent pads for bladder leakages. Also, instead of drinking too much water at once, you can drink a little from time to time.
Some lifestyle changes can also help in dealing with the issue. Through muscles training, you can learn to tighten your pelvic muscles every time you cough or laugh to avoid stress incontinence.
Kegel exercises, specifically designed for urinary incontinence, can help. Kegels can help you identify your pelvic muscles, manage them to avoid leakages and strengthen them.
Also, taking dietary fibre can help in preventing urinary incontinence. You can eat lentils, berries, beans and avocados, which are good sources of fibre. They will help in improving bowel health.
Bladder training is one of the effective ways to control your urge. Start by making frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate within equal time gaps. This way the urge to urinate will minimize. Continue doing so and when you notice that the urge is reducing, go to the bathroom in increased time gaps. Go to the bathroom even if you do not feel any urge to urinate. For example, if you are going in every 45 minutes, keep doing that until it increases to 3-4 hours.
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Does Puberty Cause Frequent Urination
One of the bladder conditions that a teenager might experience during puberty is frequent urination. Most of the time, frequent urination is nothing to worry about and will naturally clear up. However, in teenagers, it can also be a sign of:
- diabetes, which also presents by making your teen very thirsty
- bladder cancer, though this is very rare7
- the lining of the womb growing outside its usual location
If your child is experiencing issues, iD has a range of continence productsto manage the condition. The full iD Comfy Junior range is breathable and discreet. For concerns about your teenagers general or bladder health during puberty, iD recommends speaking to your family doctor.
I Already Leak What Can I Do
If youre experiencing occasional bladder leaks when exercising or sneezing, dont worry! There are many strategies to reduce or even eliminate annoying leaks.
- Kegel Exercises. Something every woman can do to improve pelvic floor health is to practice Kegel exercises. These exercises can be done anytime and dont take long. Kegels involve contracting and holding your pelvic floor muscles at regular intervals. When done correctly, Kegels effectively strengthen and tighten pelvic floor muscles.
- Modified Workouts. While you are toning and strengthening your pelvic floor, try to limit high-impact activities that cause your leaks. Stick to workouts that dont put a lot of pressure on your pelvic muscles, such as power walking, swimming, and yoga.
- Body Weight. Talk to your physician to determine if your weight is contributing to your incontinence. Losing weight can help alleviate pressure on your pelvic floor and restore control of your bladder.
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