Urinary incontinence is the accidental release of urine due to a loss in bladder control. Incontinence can be a short-term problem caused by a urinary tract infection, medicine, or constipation.
Chronic urinary incontinence can have two causes, and some women have both.
- Stress incontinence is caused by putting pressure on the bladder, like from sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising. It’s the most common type of bladder control problem in women.
- Urge incontinence is the strong need to urinate, but the inability to reach the toilet in time. This can happen even when the bladder is holding only a small amount of urine. Some women may have no warning before they accidentally leak urine.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Chronic bladder control problems may be caused by weakened muscles in the lower urinary tract or damage either in the urinary tract or in the nerves that control urination. Childbirth, weight gain, or other conditions that stretch the pelvic floor muscles can cause stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is caused by an overactive bladder muscle that pushes urine out of the bladder. It may be caused by bladder irritation, emotional stress, or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, or stroke.
Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis
Along with an examination and some simple tests, your urologist can diagnose urinary incontinence by asking what and how much you drink, how often and how much you urinate and leak.
Preventing Urinary Incontinence
Go to the bathroom at set times and completely empty your bladder. Reduce or eliminate caffeine drinks, such as coffee, tea, or sodas.
Learn about treatment for female urinary incontinence