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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong you can’t get to a toilet in time.

Types of urinary incontinence include:

  • Stress incontinence. Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy. Women are more likely than men to suffer with this kind of incontinence.
  • Urge incontinence. You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition such as a neurologic disorder or diabetes.
  • Overflow incontinence. You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely.
  • Functional incontinence. A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
  • Mixed incontinence. You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by everyday habits, underlying medical conditions or physical problems. Temporary incontinence might be caused by certain drinks, foods or medications such as alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits or heart and blood pressure medication that may stimulate your bladder and increase your volume of urine.

Persistent urinary incontinence might be caused by underlying physical problems, including pregnancy, childbirth, changes with age, menopause, hysterectomy, obstruction and neurological disorders or diabetes.

Though it occurs more often as people get older, urinary incontinence isn’t an inevitable consequence of aging. For many people, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease discomfort or stop urinary incontinence. If urinary incontinence is frequent or affecting your quality of life, it’s time to make an appointment with our office. Let us help.