What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the release of urine from the bladder.
As we get older, poor bladder control becomes more common because the pelvic floor muscles become weaker. This is a common problem and can also develop at any age.
Types of urinary incontinence
The most common types of urinary incontinence include:
- Overflow incontinence – Small amounts of urine leakage throughout the day
- Stress incontinence – Small amounts of urine leakage when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising
- Urge incontinence – a frequent and urgent need to urinate
What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
Common symptoms of urinary incontinence include:
- Occasionally leaking urine when coughing or sneezing
- Having a sudden urge to urinate
What are the causes of urinary incontinence?
Common causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Prostatitis, enlarged prostate or prostate cancer (in men)
- Pregnancy and childbirth, hysterectomy, menopause or interstitial cystitis (in women)
- Bladder cancer, bladder stones, neurological disorders or ageing (in both men and women)
Temporary causes of urinary incontinence include alcohol, excessive fluid intake, caffeine, medications, urinary tract infection and constipation.