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urinary-incontinence

Everything You Need to Know About Urinary Incontinence and Medicare Coverage

It can be challenging and expensive to deal with incontinence. It is important to know the extent of the condition and how to cope with it while still carrying on with your every day life.

What is incontinence?

Incontinence is a common issue that is seen more as you age. The condition typically stems from problems with nerves and muscles used to hold and release urine in the bladder. Common signs are leaking urine when you sneeze or cough. Another common sign is feeling the sudden urge to go to the bathroom and not being able to make it in time.

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Types of urinary incontinence

While urinary incontinence is fairly common, there are five different types that you can suffer from.

  • Stress incontinence causes urine leaks during coughing, sneezing, exercising, laughing, or anything that constricts your abdominal muscles and applies pressure to your bladder.
  • Urge incontinence is commonly known as overactive bladder and happens when you leak urine after feeling a sudden urge to go to the bathroom.
  • Functional incontinence is when a medical condition keeps you from making it to the bathroom in time.
  • Mixed incontinence is when you suffer from a combination of both stress and urge incontinence.
  • Overflow incontinence is when you struggle to completely empty your bladder. This leads to leaking urine when your bladder is full.

Causes

There are several reasons that people suffer from incontinence, some of which are urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, and vaginal infections.

It is not uncommon for medications to cause temporary bladder control issues, but when the issue persists, it could be due to any of the following:

  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Weak pelvic muscles
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Damaged nerves that control the bladder
  • Diseases that can make it difficult to get to the bath­room in time

What to do

If you are suffering from incontinence, one of the first steps to take is working on your bladder control. Visit your doctor for a full continence assessment if you have concerns about your bladder control. In this assessment, they will look at your current and past medical history along with your diet, exercise, and medication schedule.

Medicare coverage

Original Medicare does not offer coverage for pads or adult diapers for incontinence, which means you are paying 100 percent of the costs. However, some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may offer coverage. Refer back to your plan to find out if you have incontinence coverage.

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