It is important to recognise the different types of incontinence. Incontinence is a very common problem and almost every case can be cured or significantly improved.
The most common form of incontinence is urinary. There are two main types of urinary incontinence - Urge and Stress.
This involves an imbalance of the nerves involved with the continence mechanism. This condition is not directly related to weak pelvic floor muscles.
When the bladder fills, signals are sent from the nerves in the bladder wall to the bladder muscle. Inhibitory reflex nerves intercept these signals to prevent the bladder from contracting. The signals build up until they become so strong that the sensation reaches the consciousness and one can voluntarily prevent the bladder muscle from contracting until convenient.
With Urge Incontinence the signals from the bladder overwhelm the inhibitory reflex and reach the bladder muscle before the sensation reaches the consciousness. The muscle then starts to contract and there is no time to voluntarily stop the process.
See treatments for further information on how Genesis can help you to overcome Urge Incontinence.
Stress incontinence is caused by pelvic floor muscle weakness. While this is mainly a problem suffered by women (often caused by childbirth) men (often after a radical prostatectomy) are affected. The pelvic floor muscles stretch like a hammock from the pelvic bone to the coccyx and they support the bladder. The anal canal and the urethra pass through the pelvic floor muscles. When the pelvic floor muscles are healthy they hold the bladder at the correct angle and contract around the urethra to prevent leaking. The pelvic floor muscles can be stretched and torn during childbirth and unless they are properly exercised and returned to health, urinary and sometimes faecal incontinence may result.
Genesis Medical offers successful products for strengthening pelvic floor muscles at home and in the clinic. Genesis Medical also provides products for surgery; a bulking material for injecting around the urethra to narrow the passage (more successful for women than for men), and tapes for surgical implantation in both men and women.
See treatments for further information on how Genesis can help you to overcome Stress Incontinence without surgery..
Faecal Incontinence is the loss of bowel control causing leaking of stool from the rectum. While not as common as urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence is widespread and can be even more distressing.
Effective bowel control requires a functioning anal sphincter, sufficient rectal capacity and rectal sensation.
The anal sphincters apply pressure around the anal canal until relaxed for defecation. The rectum holds the faecal matter and should stretch as the volume increases. The rectal sensation signals the filling of the rectum. It is important to sense a full rectum so that it can be voided before the faeces become hard and compacted causing constipation.
The anal sphincters may be damaged during childbirth. Sometimes this damage is compensated for by the pelvic floor muscles and becomes apparent only with age and weakening of the muscles.
Damage to the nerves can affect rectal sensation and so proper bowel control and co-ordination of the defecation process. When defecation takes place the anal sphincters must relax.
It is important for the cause of the problems to be established and a treatment program worked out by a specialist.
Genesis Medical provides electrostimulation and biofeedback instruments for treating faecal incontinence including balloon catheters for pressure biofeedback.
See treatments for further information on how Genesis can help you to overcome Faecal Incontinence.