What You Need to Know
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence simply means leaking urine. Incontinence can range from leaking just a few drops of urine to complete emptying of the bladder.
What are the types?
There are three main types of urinary incontinence:
1. Stress is leaking urine when coughing, laughing, or sneezing. Leaks also can happen when a woman walks, runs, or exercises.
2. Urgency is a sudden strong urge to urinate that is hard to stop. Women with this type of urinary incontinence may leak urine on the way to the bathroom. If you have an “overactive bladder” (OAB), it means that you have symptoms of urgency and frequency that may or may not include incontinence.
3. Mixed incontinence combines symptoms of both SUI and urgency urinary incontinence.
What other symptoms occur with urinary incontinence?
It is common for other symptoms to occur along with urinary incontinence:
· Urgency—Having a strong urge to urinate
· Frequency—Urinating (also called voiding) more often than what is usual for you
· Nocturia—Waking from sleep to urinate
· Dysuria—Painful urination
· Nocturnal enuresis—Leaking urine while sleeping
How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?
· Women’s Care Group offers Urodynamic testing in our office. Urodynamics refers to a group of tests that are performed to assess function of the urinary tract by measuring urine storage and evacuation. The purpose of urodynamic testing is to make a diagnosis so a specific targeted treatment can be designed for you.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Some of the causes of urinary incontinence include the following:
· Urinary tract infection (UTI)—UTIs sometimes cause leakage and are treated with antibiotics.
· Diuretic medications, caffeine, or alcohol—Incontinence may be a side effect of substances that cause your body to make more urine.
· Pelvic floor disorders—These disorders are caused by weakening of the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor and accidental bowel leakage, and pelvic organ prolapse.
· Constipation—Long-term constipation often is present in women with urinary incontinence, especially in older women.
· Neuromuscular problems—When nerve (neurologic) signals from the brain to the bladder and urethra are disrupted, the muscles that control those organs can malfunction, allowing urine to leak.
· Anatomical problems—The outlet of the bladder into the urethra can become blocked by bladder stones or other growths