Overview of Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence is the inability to control the passage of urine and can range from an occasional leakage of urine to a complete inability to hold any urine. Incontinence is most common among the elderly. Women are more likely than men to have urinary incontinence.
Three main types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence – occurs during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.
- Urge incontinence – involves a strong, sudden need to urinate followed by instant bladder contraction and involuntary loss of urine. You don't have enough time between when you recognize the need to urinate and when you actually do urinate.
- Mixed incontinence – contains components of both stress and urge incontinence.
Read more information about urinary incontinence symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment
Some women can be treated with medication. In many cases, behavioral methods – such as bladder training and timed urination – and Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles, can be used before medicine is prescribed. Urinary incontinence may also be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy, pessary or surgery.
Treatment plans for patients will be determined by their care team based on age, medical history, type of urinary incontinence and personal preferences. Options may include: