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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

 The loss of bladder control is an embarrassing problem and medical data show that in fact a very common one. The severity of this condition ranges from an occasional leaking of urine to a sudden urge, which is so strong that you cannot get to the bathroom in time. The medical name for the loss of bladder control is urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence in women and also in man most commonly refers to the inability to control the release of the urine, however, there are several other types, including:

  • Stress urinary incontinence – due to pressure on the bladder caused by sneezing, coughing, laughing or even exercising. In general terms stress urinary incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle gets too weak. Urinary incontinence in women can result from pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. In men, the condition can occur after prostate gland removal.
  • Urge incontinence – a sudden urge, uncontrollable to urinate caused mainly by urinary tract infections, bowel problems, bladder irritants, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer disease, stroke, nervous system damage or injury, and multiple sclerosis.urinary_Small
  • Overflow incontinence – an inability to empty the bladder, which occurs due to damaged bladder, blocked urethra or nerve damage due to diabetes, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. In men, prostate gland problems can lead to overflow incontinence.
  • Functional incontinence – physical or mental impairment due to arthritis, can lead to the inability to empty the bladder properly.

Urinary Incontinence Treatment

Urinary incontinence is a frequent condition, which severely affects the patient’s quality of life. It is important to visit the doctor, because urinary incontinence greatly restricts daily activities, limit social interactions and it may even increase the risk of having an accident due to uncontrollable reactions from the urge to find a toilet. Additionally, the condition may indicate more serious underlying causes.

Urinary incontinence can be triggered by certain medical conditions, but also by everyday habits. Some common causes are:

  • Alcohol
  • Overhydratation
  • Caffeine
  • Bladder irritation – due to carbonated drinks, coffee, tea, artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, spicy or acidic food.
  • Medications – such as blood pressure drugs, muscle relaxants, sedatives.
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Constipation
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Changes with aging
  • Hysterectomy – causing  urinary incontinence in women

Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options

Lifestyle Changes

  • Bladder training – to control urge and learn to delay urination
  • Timed urination
  • Diet and fluid management – to reduce liquid consumption and increasing physical activity
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises – to strengthen the sphincter and pelvic muscles, which control urination (Kegel exercises)


  • Anticholinergics – to calm overactive bladder
  • Topical estrogen – help tone and rejuvenate tissues in the urethra and vagina
  • Duloxetine – to treat stress incontinence


  • Sling procedures – the help keep the urethra closed
  • Bladder neck suspension – to support the muscles of the urethra
  • Artificial urinary sphincter – performed after prostate cancer treatment

Further options

  • Urethral insert (tampon device to prevent leakage)
  • Interventional therapies such as bulking material injections (to keep the urethra closed)
  • Botox applied into the bladder muscle to control overactive bladder
  • Nerve stimulators – to help control the bladder function
  • Electrical stimulation – to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Absorbent catheters