What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the uncontrolled loss of urine.
Under normal conditions, the bladder stores urine until it is voluntarily released. This involves a complex interaction between the brain, spinal cord, bladder and support structures in the pelvis. Anything that interferes with this interaction or causes damage to the support tissues can result in a person developing urinary incontinence.
This condition is much more common than most people think occurring in greater than 40% of American women. The condition should not be considered a normal part of the aging processes and occurs in all age groups. In fact recent studies show that urinary incontinence is becoming quite prevalent among younger women.
Although not a life-threatening problem, urinary incontinence does have negative social implications. You may be obsessed by fear of urine loss, concerned about urine odor and worried about being excluded socially. You may feel you are no longer attractive and even lose your sense of sexuality. You may stop exercising or fail to start a weight loss program because of fear of losing urine while exercising. Feeling alone and isolated, some women may distance themselves from their spouses, family members and relatives. Some individuals may restrict or avoid excursions outside the home, social interaction with friends and family. Others will avoid sexual activity because of the fear of loss of urine.
If you suffer from bladder control issues the following sections will help inform you on the different types of urinary incontinence. This information will allow you to better understand the type of urinary incontinence you suffer from. Being better informed will help guide you in deciding what type of treatment would be best for you. In the great majority of situation urinary incontinence can be corrected or significantly improved. Physicians that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence have the training and knowledge to help you with this condition.