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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence: Introduction

Urinary incontinence is a very common condition in which there is involuntary leakage or a loss of control of the urine. There are a variety of causes and types of urinary incontinence. These include stress incontinence, in which small amounts of urine leak from the bladder during moving, such as when exercising or sneezing. Urge incontinence results in the leakage of large amounts of urine and often occurs together with stress incontinence. This is called mixed incontinence.

Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder is very full and leaks urine. Functional incontinence happens when a person is unable to reach a toilet in time. In overactive bladder, there is a pressing, and/or rapid and urgent sensation of needing to urinate. Transient incontinence is temporary and is due to a temporary condition, such as a urinary tract infection.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence include sudden urges to urinate and leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence can lead to frequent "accidents" that negatively affect a person's self esteem and ability to work, attend school, socialize, travel or complete other normal activities of daily living. A constant fear of incontinence can also lead to not drinking enough fluids, resulting in serious dehydration, especially in older adults. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is most common in women. Older adults of both sexes also commonly have urinary incontinence. About 25 million adult Americans experience transient or ongoing urinary incontinence and 75-80% of them are women. In addition, one in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily, according to the National Association for Continence.

There are many factors that can disrupt the intricate and interconnected processes of the organs, muscles, and nerves that is necessary to maintain urinary continence (voluntary flow of urine). These include excessive fluid intake, childbirth, urinary tract infection, spinal cord injury, extreme fear or anxiety, bladder irritation, bladder cancer, and some neurological diseases.

Making a diagnosis of urinary incontinence includes completing a complete medical evaluation, including a detailed history of symptoms, and a physical examination. Diagnostic testing can include a urine analysis, which evaluates a number of elements in the urine and can determine if a urinary tract infection is present.

There are also a wide variety of tests that are used to evaluate urinary incontinence. These include a bladder stress test, in which the physician evaluates the loss of urine while coughing. An ultrasound uses sound wave technology to create a picture of the urinary tract. In a cystoscopy procedure, a small, flexible lighted viewing tube is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urethra.

It is possible that a diagnosis of urinary incontinence can be missed or delayed because symptoms may be mild and not reported to the health care provider and for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of urinary incontinence.

With an individualized treatment plan that best fits the type and severity of urinary incontinence and a person's life style, urinary incontinence can be successfully treated. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of urinary incontinence. ...more »

Urinary Incontinence: Urinary incontinence is an inability to hold your urine until you get to a toilet. More than 13 million people in the United ... more about Urinary Incontinence.

Urinary Incontinence: Reduced ability to control urine flow. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Urinary Incontinence is available below.

Urinary Incontinence: Symptoms

The severity and types of symptoms of urinary incontinence vary from person to person. Typical symptoms include a sudden, strong urge to urinate (urgency), urinating frequently (frequency), or awakening two or more times throughout the night to urinate. Bedwetting can also occur.

There are many types and causes of urinary incontinence, and not all types and causes are known. However, ...more symptoms »

Urinary Incontinence: Treatments

Current treatments can address a variety of causes of urinary incontinence, and symptoms can be successfully managed so people with urinary incontinence can live a normal, active life.

Treatment plans are based on medical history, type and severity of incontinence, coexisting conditions, and a patient's response to prior treatments. The most ...more treatments »

Urinary Incontinence: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of urinary incontinence may be delayed or missed because some cases are mild and have minimal symptoms. Urinary incontinence is also often erroneously believed to be a normal part of the aging process or an expected result of childbearing. Because of this, urinary incontinence is underreported, under diagnosed, and undertreated.

Additionally, symptoms of urinary ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Urinary Incontinence:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence: Related Patient Stories

Urinary Incontinence: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Urinary Incontinence.

Alternative Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Urinary Incontinence may include:

Types of Urinary Incontinence

  • Stress incontinence - incontinence when you cough, sneeze or exert; due to weakness of pelvic floor muscles from exercise or physical exertion
  • Urge incontinence - bladder emptying on its own; leakage with a sudden urge to urinate.
  • Functional incontinence - problems with the functional or physical ability to get to the bathroom in time.
  • Overflow incontinence - loss of the ability to sense when you need to urinate.
  • Mixed incontinence - various combinations; especially combined urge and stress incontinence
  • more types...»

Curable Types of Urinary Incontinence

Possibly curable types of Urinary Incontinence include:

Rare Types of Urinary Incontinence:

Rare types of Urinary Incontinence include:

  • Post surgeries like CNS, spinal and pelvic
  • Connective tissue disease related
  • Congestive heart failure related
  • Hypertension related
  • Postmenopausal hypoestrogenism
  • more types...»

Diagnostic Tests for Urinary Incontinence

Test for Urinary Incontinence in your own home

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Urinary Incontinence: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Urinary Incontinence:

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

More information about causes of Urinary Incontinence:

Disease Topics Related To Urinary Incontinence

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Urinary Incontinence:

Urinary Incontinence: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Urinary Incontinence

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom more »

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as a more »

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as more »

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, more »

Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other causes of more »

Urinary Incontinence: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Urinary Incontinence

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Urinary Incontinence:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Urinary Incontinence, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Urinary Incontinence: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Urinary Incontinence

Medical research articles related to Urinary Incontinence include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Prognosis for Urinary Incontinence

Prognosis for Urinary Incontinence: Behavioral changes, pelvic floor exercise therapy, and medication usually improve symptoms rather than cure stress incontinence. Surgery can cure most patients, if they are carefully selected. Treatment does not work as well in people with: Conditions that may prevent healing or make surgery more difficult, Other genital or urinary problems, Previous surgical failures

Research about Urinary Incontinence

Visit our research pages for current research about Urinary Incontinence treatments.

Clinical Trials for Urinary Incontinence

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Urinary Incontinence include:

Statistics for Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence: Broader Related Topics

Urinary Incontinence Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Urinary Incontinence, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence in Women: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Urinary incontinence is an inability to hold your urine until you get to a toilet. More than 13 million people in the United States--male and female, young and old--experience incontinence. It is often temporary, and it always results from an underlying medical condition. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Incontinence in Women: NIDDK)

Your Urinary System and How It Works: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Urinary incontinence , loss of bladder control, is the involuntary passage of urine. There are many causes and types of incontinence, and many treatment options. Treatments range from simple exercises to surgery. Women are affected by urinary incontinence more often than men. (Source: excerpt from Your Urinary System and How It Works: NIDDK)

Urinary Incontinence: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control or the leakage of urine. It can happen to anyone, but is very common in older people. At least 1 out of 10 people age 65 or older suffers from incontinence. It is a condition that ranges from mild leakage to uncontrollable and embarrassing wetting. Urinary incontinence is a major health problem because it can lead to disability and dependency. You may feel ashamed about bladder control problems. Remember that it's a medical problem and it's not your fault. Millions of women have the same problem. Don't believe people who tell you that urine leakage is normal. It isn't. Most of the time it can be improved. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Incontinence: NWHIC)

Urinary Incontinence -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Urinary incontinence (in-CON-ti-nents) is the loss of bladder control or the leakage of urine. It can happen to anyone, but is very common in older people. At least 1 out of 10 people age 65 or older suffers from incontinence. It is a condition that rages from mild leakage to uncontrollable and embarrassing wetting. Urinary incontinence is a major health problem because it can lead to disability and dependency. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Incontinence -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Definitions of Urinary Incontinence:

Failure of voluntary control of the vesical and urethral sphincters, with constant or frequent involuntary passage of urine. - (Source - Diseases Database)

Inability to control the flow of urine and involuntary urination - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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