The involuntary loss of urine is extremely common
and almost all women experience this problem at least occasionally under certain
circumstances. The problem is sufficiently severe to be a problem for 20 to
30 percent of women. 95% of urinary incontinence in women is due to either stress
incontinence, bladder instability or
a combination of these.
- Stress incontinence: The involuntary loss of urine when the
pressure in the abdominal cavity increases as with a cough, sneeze or laugh.
This occurs because the pressure on the bladder exceeds the pressure in the urethra.
- Bladder instability: Also called “overactive bladder and “urge
incontinence”, this problem results from the bladder contracting excessively.
Why this develops so commonly is unknown. Typical symptoms include frequent
urination, urgency, the need to get up at night to urinate and loss of large
amounts of urine. Commonly women will say “When I have to go, I have
to go!” Frequently the sound of running water or getting near a bathroom
will trigger a bladder contraction and loss of urine.
Treatment for incontinence
Treatment depends on the type of incontinence. Stress
incontinence can often be successfully treated with pelvic floor muscle
strengthening. You may be familiar with one method of achieving this called Kegel
exercises. If this type of treatment is unsuccessful or if the condition
is severe, surgery has become a very successful form of treatment. Overactive
bladder is treated with medicine. In the last few years, several new
medications which are very helpful, safe and well tolerated have become available
to treat this problem. Quite a few women have both types of incontinence
and may require more than one type of treatment.
For more information on Urinary Incontinence, please click on the helpful link below:
Urinary Incontinence: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq081.pdf