Involuntary loss of urine is referred to as incontinence.  Leakage may occur for a variety of reasons.  Incontinence may be the result of an undiagnosed urinary tract infection, medications, neurologic conditions, or anatomic abnormalities.

 

Stress incontinence is loss of urine with cough, laugh, sneeze or strenuous activity such as exercising.  It is caused by a weakening of the supportive structures of the bladder or urethra.  Urge incontinence is caused by overactive bladder muscles that spasm too often or problems with nerves that control bladder function.  Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.  Overflow incontinence is a steady loss of urine caused when the bladder doesn’t completely empty due to under active bladder muscles or partially blocked urethra

 

Incontinence is evaluated with a combination of voiding diary, pelvic examination, urinary culture for infection, and urodyamic testing.  Once diagnosed, treatment depends upon the cause of leakage and may consist of bladder training, weight loss, fluid management, lifestyle changes, medication, physical therapy, medical devices, or surgery..

 

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