Urinary incontinence is the uncontrolled leakage of urine from the bladder.
There are three types of incontinence:
Stress incontinence is the uncontrolled leaking of urine that occurs when coughing, sneezing, lifting, or when performing any other type of straining motion.
Urge incontinence is due to a bladder that is overactive and causes the frequent need to urinate and loss of urine due to a sudden urge.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of both.
- Vaginal child birth
- Previous gynecologic surgery, especially hysterectomy
- Heavy lifting or straining
- Chronic coughing
Diagnosis and Testing
- Urine culture and analysis
- Voiding diary
- Urodynamics testing (bladder pressure studies)
- Pelvic ultrasound
What causes bladder leakage?
Urine loss can occur at any age under challenging conditions; however, frequent urine loss with normal activities occurs due to a change in anatomy. Physicians refer to this as a “fallen bladder,” which can occur due to child birth or constant straining or lifting. Hormone changes may also weaken the bladder and urethra support. Kegle exercises can be done to gradually increase the strength of the support muscles. For most patients, Kegel exercises have a limited benefit. Surgical procedures to support the urethra are done on an outpatient basis with minimal discomfort and recovery. Current surgical procedures for bladder leakage are very different from procedures performed even 10 years ago.
What is urge incontinence?
Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder fails to relax to allow more urine to fill, and this stimulates the need to urinate. Patients with this disorder may urinate every 15-20 minutes. Treatment requires medication and bladder training drills. It is important to rule out irritation from foods, medications, or bladder stones.
If you are experiencing frequent urination or leakage of any kind, discuss it with your doctor. We can help
Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.