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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine that may occur when control of the urinary sphincter is either lost or weakened. Since pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are often contributing factors, urinary incontinence occurs more often in women than in men.

Types Of Urinary Incontinence:

  • Temporary incontinence — certain drinks, food, and medications may act as diuretics that stimulate the bladder and increase your volume of urine.

  • Urge incontinence — leakage due to an overactive bladder

  • Stress incontinence — leakage due to poor closure of the bladder

  • Overflow incontinence — leakage due to either poor bladder contraction or blockage of the urethra

  • Functional incontinence — leakage due to medications or health problems that make it difficult to get to the bathroom

Health Conditions That May Cause Urine Leakage

  • Pregnancy — hormonal changes and increased weight of the fetus can lead to stress incontinence

  • Obesity — unhealthy weight can put pressure on the bladder leading to involuntary leakage of urine

  • Urinary tract infection — infections can irritate the bladder, causing strong urges to urinate

  • Constipation — this condition causes the nerves in your bladder to be overactive and increase urinary frequency

  • Changes with age — aging of the bladder can decrease its capacity to store urine

  • Childbirth — vaginal delivery can weaken muscles needed for bladder control

  • Menopause — estrogen is a hormone that helps keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy and this hormone drops during menopause

  • Hysterectomy — any surgery involving the reproductive system may damage the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence

  • Obstruction — a tumor along the urinary tract can block the normal flow of urine

When To See A Doctor For Urinary Incontinence

The good news is, urinary incontinence in women is very common and treatable. If you are experiencing persistent and recurring urinary incontinence, it is recommended you meet with a women’s health specialist to discuss your personal health history, your current health circumstances, and your symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to consider meeting with your female health specialist:

  • Frequent and constant dribbling of urine

  • Urine leaks when you exert pressure on the bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising

  • You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate following an involuntary loss of urine

  • Painful urination

  • Recurrent urinary tract infections

  • Problems starting a urine stream

  • Problems emptying the bladder completely

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