Urinary incontinence is the uncontrolled leaking of urine. More than 30 million American men and women suffer from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is not a disease. It is a symptom of a wide range of conditions.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
These may include diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, some surgeries or even childbirth or menopause* (change of life) for women. Certain types of medications can cause or make incontinence worse. These medications include diuretics, sedatives, narcotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, calcium channelblockers and alpha-blockers. In men, the most common cause of incontinence is surgery of the prostate. There are three different types of incontinence.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
SUI is the most common type of leakage. This occurs when urine is lost during activity. This may include walking, exercise or even sneezing and coughing. The added pressure on the abdomen from these activities can cause urine to leak. Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and urethra. When they become weak or damaged, they may not work well enough to hold urine in the body.
Overactive Bladder (Urgency Incontinence)
The major symptom of overactive bladder is a sudden, strong urge to urinate that you can’t ignore. This “gotta go” feeling makes you afraid you will leak urine if you don’t get to a bathroom right away. If you live with OAB, you may urinate many times during the day. You may also wake from sleep more than once a night to go. People with multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke or spinal cord injury are more likely to get OAB.
Overflow Urinary Incontinence
This type of urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder is full. For many reasons, the bladder is unable to empty and may leak urine. Frequent small urinations and constant dribbling are symptoms. This is rare in women and more common in men with a history of prostate problems or surgery.
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology
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