With urinary incontinence, you experience an involuntary leakage of urine due to loss of bladder control. People often avoid seeking help since they find it embarrassing — which means the condition is sometimes left untreated. This is very unfortunate since the underlying cause is often treatable, and treatment can improve quality of life dramatically. The symptoms and severity of urinary incontinence range from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong that you don’t get to the toilet in time. There are different types of incontinence. Most common are stress, urge and overflow incontinence.
This is loss of urine when you exert pressure — stress — on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy. Stress incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle and/or the pelvic floor of the bladder is weakened. In women, this could be due to physical changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. In men, removal of the prostate gland can lead to this type of incontinence. Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms, and ranges from behavior advice and physical therapy to pharmaceuticals and surgery.