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While bladder leaks can seem embarrassing, they are a common occurrence for many women. More than 4 in 10 women, 65 and older, have urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is twice as likely to happen to women than men (according to The Office on Women’s Health).

Knowing what causes urinary incontinence is the first step towards knowing what steps you should take next.


What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Simply put, it is the inability to control when and where you go to the bathroom. There are a variety of different types of urinary incontinence including urge incontinence (also known as an overactive bladder), overflow incontinence, and stress incontinence.

What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence?

The main symptom of urinary incontinence is a constant drippage of urine and/or occasional bladder leakage. These bladder leaks often happen while exercising, coughing, or laughing. Urinary incontinence is not a disease by itself, but rather a symptom of another health problem. As a result, many women experiencing bladder incontinence also experience other urinary problems such as:

Bladder spasms/bladder pressure that causes a strong urge to urinate
Urinating while sleeping (bedwetting)
Frequent urination (at least 8+ times a day)

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can be caused by a wide range of factors, some being temporary or short-term causes and some due to chronic or long-term causes.

Overall, most causes of urinary incontinence are due to weak pelvic floor muscles. That being said, conditions that impact the strength of your pelvic floor can often lead to issues with a leaky bladder.

Short-Term Causes Of Bladder Leaks
Temporary health conditions that can cause urinary incontinence include:

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Chronic Causes Of Bladder Leaks
Long-term health conditions that can cause urinary incontinence include:

Pelvic Floor Disorders
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options

If incontinence is disrupting your daily activities, it may be time to see a doctor to receive a diagnosis. Urinary incontinence can be diagnosed through a variety of methods such as a physical exam, a urodynamic test, or an ultrasound.

A gynecologist can work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to help you mitigate and manage urinary incontinence. Treatments for urinary incontinence can include:

Nonsurgical Treatments
Urinary Incontinence Medications
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Lifestyle Adjustments

Surgical Treatments
Botox Injections
InterStim (a neurostimulator device)
Urethral Sling Procedures


Q: What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a condition characterized by the involuntary leakage of urine. It can range from occasional small leaks to complete loss of bladder control.

Q: How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?

Diagnosing urinary incontinence involves a comprehensive evaluation, including a medical history assessment, physical examination, urine analysis, and possibly additional tests such as urodynamic testing (measuring bladder and urethra function), ultrasound, or cystoscopy.

Q: Can urinary incontinence be prevented?

While not all cases of urinary incontinence can be prevented, there are steps that can reduce the risk or severity of symptoms. These include maintaining a healthy weight, practicing pelvic floor exercises, avoiding bladder irritants, treating underlying medical conditions promptly, and seeking medical advice if experiencing symptoms.

Note: It is important to consult with a healthcare professional specialized in urology or urogynecology for an accurate diagnosis, personalized treatment recommendations, and guidance regarding urinary incontinence.


Aman k. Kashyap

I am a hard-working and driven medical student who isn't afraid to face any challenge. I'm passionate about my work . I would describe myself as an open and honest person who doesn't believe in misleading other people and tries to be fair in everything I do.

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