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Do I Have Urinary Incontinence?

April 17, 2014 1 min read

    “Lately I’ve been urinating frequently and sometimes I can’t make it to the bathroom in time. Do I have incontinence?”

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. The condition affects millions around the world, young and old. There are two main types of incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when you accidentally leak urine while doing something physical that puts pressure onto your bladder. For example, you may experience leakage when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or exercise. This form of incontinence can be caused by several factors including:

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • Prostate problems
  • Menopause
  • Obesity and being overweight

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence involves frequent and sudden urges to urinate. This may be what you are experiencing, as those who suffer from urge incontinence often can’t suppress their urges and accidentally wet themselves before reaching the toilet. Common factors that can lead to urge incontinence include:

  • Medication
  • Prostate problems
  • Certain foods and drinks
  • Constipation
  • Neurological disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury)

If you are having trouble controlling your bladder, contact your primary care physician or a urologist to determine the cause. Urinary incontinence is common but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Treatment options include pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback training, bladder retraining, diet changes and weight loss. Those who don’t get treatment often feel alone and stop participating in activities they once loved. Don’t suffer in silence and contact a doctor soon.


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