Urinary incontinence, or the inability to control one’s bladder, is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when coughing or sneezing to having a sudden and strong urge to urinate that prevents you from reaching a toilet in time.
Urinary incontinence is not a natural part of aging, although it becomes more common as people get older. Consult your doctor if urinary incontinence interferes with your daily activities. Most people can treat urinary incontinence symptoms with simple lifestyle and dietary changes or medical care.
Many people have minor urine leaks from time to time. Others may experience more frequent loss of small to moderate amounts of urine.
Urinary incontinence can be classified into the following types:
Incontinence due to stress. Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting something heavy.
Urge urinary incontinence. You have an unexpected, strong urge to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate frequently, including at night. Urge incontinence can be caused by a minor condition like an infection or a more severe condition like a neurological disorder or diabetes.
Incontinence due to overflow. You have frequent or constant dribbling of urine as a result of a bladder that does not empty.
Functional incontinence. You cannot use the restroom due to a physical or mental impairment. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
Incontinence on both sides. You have more than one type of urinary incontinence, usually a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
You might feel awkward discussing incontinence with your doctor. However, if incontinence is frequent or affecting your quality of life, you should seek medical attention because urinary incontinence can cause:
cause you to limit your activities and social interactions
hurt your quality of life
As older adults rush to the toilet, their risk of falling increases.
Symptoms of a more serious underlying condition
Topic: urinary inconsistent
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