Knowing the difference between urinary health and issues that may stem from a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is crucial for your overall well-being. If you experience any pain or discomfort during urination, there can be several causes why. From urinary tract infections to kidney stones and even a sexually transmitted disease, painful urination needs to be examined to find the root cause.
While not every situation is cause for concern, understanding what is happening to your body when you urinate is essential. Sometimes urinary incontinence can occur. Urinary incontinence is a condition when an individual lacks control over their urine flow and is a relatively common occurrence, with over 13 million people estimated to have some form of urinary incontinence at some point in their lives.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
There are 5 main types of urinary incontinence, and understanding each one is good knowledge when trying to eliminate the causes of your urinary issues.
- Stress Incontinence: External stressors such as a sudden movement such as coughing may cause an episode of incontinence. In essence, this occurs when any physical activity exerts pressure on your bladder that causes control issues. With stress incontinence, the occurrence can be triggered once or can lead to chronic conditions due to injury, so it’s crucial to consult your primary care physician to eliminate any underlying issues.
- Overflow Incontinence: This form of incontinence occurs when the bladder doesn’t empty entirely and some urine eeks out, usually by dribbling or leaking after you conclude urinating. An occasional occurrence of overflow incontinence can be considered normal, but if you’re experiencing it with increasing regularity, consult a doctor.
- Urge Incontinence: An overwhelming sensation that comes about quickly is the primary symptom of urge incontinence, followed rapidly by a sudden release of urine almost to the point of involuntary. Urge incontinence and the lack of control exhibited in the sudden burst of urine can be a symptom of a more significant issue, so consult your physician immediately.
- Functional Incontinence: With functional incontinence, it’s not a lack of urinary control or function; rather, the condition stems from the inability to get to a toilet in time due to a physical or mental limitation. An example of this state is a person suffering from mobility issues may have difficulty getting to a bathroom in time to relieve themselves before urinating.
- Mixed Incontinence: A combination of more than one form of urinary incontinence is the definition of mixed.
Often urinary incontinence is a condition that is dependent on outside factors rather than infection but only consulting your physician that can order a multi-test swab to diagnose the cause will help you get a better handle on treatment options.
When To Schedule An Exam
When you experience any issue with urination, it’s best to seek out professional help to diagnose and eliminate any potential significant health issues. Urination issues may stem from incontinence issues, as we discussed above, or they may be symptoms of a more serious health concern. The best time to see your doctor is as soon as the symptoms of urinary issues begin.
Understanding Other Urinary Issues
Urination problems can also be a sign of something more serious occurring. For example, there can be issues that stem from chronic diseases such as cancer or more acute, such as a sexually transmitted disease. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection can include:
- Problems of urination, going too frequently, or not able to urinate
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Colored or opaque discharge after urination
- Constant feeling and pressure of urination
- Pain and discomfort during sex, including unusual vaginal bleeding
An STD solely causes not all these symptoms. Some conditions such as bacterial vaginosis, thrush, or yeast infections may occur. Understanding the symptoms will give you better insight into what to share with your primary care physician. Also, to help eliminate any other causes, you should share with your physician if you’ve been sexually active over a recent period of time, whether it was protected or unprotected sex.
Regardless of your sexual history, getting a routine health screening is an excellent first step in combating any potentially severe health issues, including ones stemming from urinary or STD causes. Consult your physician immediately if you experience any of the symptoms or problems discussed before the problem gets out of hand.