Risk Factors for Incontinence

There are numerous factors that put patients at a higher risk of developing either urinary or fecal incontinence.

There are numerous factors that put patients at a higher risk of developing either urinary or fecal incontinence. According to OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, these contributing factors include age, gender, previous trauma to the pelvis and childbirth.

Urinary incontinence affects approximately 5% of the adult population. It’s more common in elderly and debilitated patients. Approximately half of all nursing-home residents, as well as 15-30% of women who are over the age of 65 in retirement communities experience urinary incontinence. However, it shouldn’t be regarded as “normal” at any age.

Your OB-GYN Montgomery County shares the most common risk factors:

  • Female sex
  • Multiple childbirth
  • Old age
  • Pelvic radiation, surgery or trauma
  • Tuberculosis of the urinary tract
  • Stroke

Females are more predisposed to incontinence because the female urethra is short and the continence mechanism is not as well developed as in the male. The female bladder neck and urethra are also not as well supported as in the male, and are subjected to the rigors of childbirth.

Multiple childbirths tend to stretch and weaken the support of the bladder and urethra, causing hypermobility of the bladder neck and the urethra, leading to stress urinary incontinence. Injury during childbirth or C-section can cause a vesicovaginal fistula to develop.

Fecal Incontinence

Just because people are too embarrassed to talk about fecal incontinence doesn’t mean it isn’t common. In fact, almost 18 million US adults suffer from fecal incontinence. The problem though, is that people often keep it secret and don’t tell their OB-GYN Montgomery County about their symptoms.

There are several risk factors for fecal incontinence, with advancing age being the most significant one because the anal sphincter muscles that control bowel movements weaken over time. This form of incontinence can affect people of all ages, but it’s more common in older and middle aged adults, affecting an estimated one in 10 women over 40.

If you are suffering from the effects of urinary or fecal incontinence, don’t suffer in silence. Call the office of OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim today to schedule a consultation.