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Urinary Incontinence in Women

Urinary incontinence is a loss or leaking of urine due to faulty bladder control.
Stress incontinence is the second most common type in older women.
Weak pelvic floor muscles and tissues that support the bladder and urethra causes stress incontinence.
Urge incontinence is an overwhelming urge to void, accompanied by loss of urine.
Irritation within the bladder or the nervous system’s inhibitory control of bladder contractions are causes of urge incontinence.
Overactive bladder (OAB) is sudden, uncontrollable bladder contractions.
Heart, blood pressure, and antidepressant medications may worsen urinary incontinence.
Incontinence can affect emotional health and self-esteem causing depression and limit sexual and social functions.
A doctor can take a detailed medical history, order lab tests, and a urine test to diagnose different types of incontinence.
You may be referred to a urologist or a urogynecologist for more specialized testing.
Simple lifestyle changes can help control mild incontinence.
Kegel exercises help strengthen the bladder and muscles around the urethral closure.
Biofeedback therapy, in which electrical patches are placed over areas of the body, record muscle contractions to see whether or not you’re performing Kegel exercises correctly.
Illustration of a pessary device used to help reduce urinary leakage.
Bladder training can help treat treat common forms of urinary incontinence.
Medications such as antispasmotics, antidepressants, and hormones can be used to treat urinary incontinence.
Nerve Stimulation through implants or Botox injections are additional treatments to treat incontinence.
In case of accidents, be prepared with products such as adult diapers and disposable pads.
Healthy habits such as exercise and healthy eating can help with urinary incontinence prevention.

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Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on Friday, March 10, 2017

Urinary Incontinence in Women: Types, Causes, and Treatments for Bladder Control

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