What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence can range from dribbling to the complete evacuation of urine. There are four main types of urinary incontinence, and people may have more than one type at the same time.

Stress incontinence
Stress incontinence is when pressure is put on the bladder causing a leakage of urine. Examples of this type of incontinence are when leakage occurs with a change in position, coughing, sneezing, or laughing.

Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden urge to urinate and cannot hold the urine until you’ve reached an appropriate place to void.

Overflow Incontinence (Urine Leak)
Overflow incontinence is when urine leaks out of the bladder because the bladder is so full, it has to release the pressure. This is often seen in people with chronic urinary retention secondary to an enlarged prostate, diabetes, or other conditions that cause people to retain urine.

Functional Incontinence
Functional incontinence is when a person has proper bladder sensations, but cannot physically get to the toilet in time to urinate.

Evaluation

Evaluation of incontinence involves urodynamic testing as well as a cystoscopy.

Treatment

Treatment will depend upon the cause of your urinary incontinence but can range from simple exercises and medication to extensive surgery.

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