Urinary incontinence

Loss of bladder control; Uncontrollable urination; Urination - uncontrollable; Incontinence - urinary

Urinary (or bladder) incontinence occurs when you are not able to keep urine from leaking out of your urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. You may leak urine from time to time. Or, you may not be able to hold any urine.

Women are more likely to have urinary incontinence than men.The correct answer is true. Urinary incontinence is more common in older women, though anyone can have it. It happens when you can't control your bladder and urine leaks out. See your doctor if you have any trouble controlling your urine. Which type of incontinence is caused by weak pelvic muscles?The correct answer is stress incontinence. When these muscles are weak, they can't prevent urine from flowing out when there's pressure on your abdomen. This is why stress incontinence happens during activities like sneezing, laughing, coughing, and exercise. Urge incontinence is the sudden, strong need to urinate.The correct answer is true. Urge incontinence happens because the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time. You may not have enough time to get to the bathroom before you urinate. If this ever happens to you, see your doctor. Incontinence never gets better without treatment.The correct answer is false. Sometimes incontinence clears up on its own. Sometimes this happens when it's caused by weight gain, urinary tract infection, medicines, pregnancy, or prostate infection. Ask your doctor for help if your incontinence doesn't go away.Losing weight can help reduce stress incontinence.The correct answer is true. Other changes can also help. These may include drinking less fluid, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and avoiding jumping and running. Work with your doctor to find changes that help you.Drinking less water helps relieve urge incontinence.The correct answer is false. When you have urge incontinence, drinking more water can help reduce leakage and may lessen odor. It helps to drink small amounts of water during the day, no more than eight ounces at one time. Stop drinking two hours before bedtime. Spicy foods can cause incontinence.The correct answer is true. Spicy foods can irritate your bladder and cause incontinence. Other foods you may want to avoid include carbonated drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and citrus fruits and juices. Incontinence can irritate your skin.The correct answer is true. The skin around your urethra may get irritated if it's often exposed to urine. To prevent skin irritation, clean the area right after you urinate. Ask your doctor about special skin cleansers that will not dry out your skin or other ways to protect your skin. Medicine is the best treatment for urge incontinence.The correct answer is false. There are many treatments for urge incontinence, including bladder retraining and surgery. Which one works best for you depends on your symptoms and how much they affect your daily life. Talk to your doctor to find the best treatment for you.Training the pelvic floor muscles can help stress incontinence.The correct answer is true. Stress incontinence happens when the pelvic muscles are weak. This can happen from childbirth, injury, or surgery. Exercising these muscles can help control urine leakage. Ask your doctor about exercises to try. Overflow incontinence is most common in men.The correct answer is true. Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder can't empty fully. It's often caused by an enlarged prostate. The most common symptoms are urine dribbling, frequent urination, and a sensation that your bladder does not empty fully. Talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms.

The 3 main types of urinary incontinence are:

  • Stress incontinence -- occurs during activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.
  • Urge incontinence -- occurs as a result of a strong, sudden need to urinate. Then the bladder squeezes and you lose urine. You don’t have enough time after you feel the need to urinate to get to the bathroom before you do urinate.
  • Overflow incontinence -- occurs when the bladder cannot empty. This leads to dribbling.

Mixed incontinence occurs when you have more than one type of urinary incontinence.

Bowel incontinence is when you are unable to control the passage of stool. It is not covered in this article.

Female urinary tract

The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

Male urinary tract

The male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

Causes

Home Care

When to Contact a Medical Professional