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Health Condition

Urinary Incontinence

About This Condition

Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control resulting in leakage of urine. There are two main types of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs during laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, or other types of physical straining, when abdominal pressure from these activities overcomes weakened urinary tract and pelvic floor muscles that normally prevent leakage. Urge incontinence, also called overactive bladder, occurs when bladder or other urinary muscles contract inappropriately. Mixed incontinence refers to a condition that has features of both stress and urge incontinence.1

Women are twice as likely as men to experience urinary incontinence, and older people are also more susceptible to the condition. Stress incontinence is often related to pregnancy- and childbirth-related and age-related loosening of urinary tract tissues, but can also result from surgery or trauma to pelvic tissues. Urge incontinence can result from nerve damage due to stroke and other neurological diseases but often has no apparent cause.1

Symptoms

Urinary leakage during exercise, or when coughing, sneezing, or laughing, is the common feature of stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is characterized by a sudden need to urinate, followed by a strong contraction of the bladder, resulting in involuntary leakage of urine. Urge incontinence can also be associated with the need to urinate frequently during the day and night.

References

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3. Gordon D, Groutz A, Ascher-Landsberg J, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of magnesium hydroxide for treatment of sensory urgency and detrusor instability: preliminary results. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1998;105:667-9.

4. Truss MC, Stief CG, Uckert S, et al. Initial clinical experience with the selective phosphodiesterase-I isoenzyme inhibitor vinpocetine in the treatment of urge incontinence and low compliance bladder. World J Urol 2000;18:439-43.

5. Truss MC, Stief CG, Uckert S, et al. Phosphodiesterase 1 inhibition in the treatment of lower urinary tract dysfunction: from bench to bedside. World J Urol 2001;19:344-50 [review].

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12. 3] Badalian SS, Rosenbaum PF. Vitamin D and pelvic floor disorders in women: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obstet Gynecol 2010;115:795-803.

13. Dallosso HM, Matthews RJ, McGrother CW, et al. The association of diet and other lifestyle factors with the onset of overactive bladder: a longitudinal study in men. Public Health Nutr 2004;7:885-91.

14. Dallosso HM, McGrother CW, Matthews RJ, et al. The association of diet and other lifestyle factors with overactive bladder and stress incontinence: a longitudinal study in women. BJU Int 2003;92:69-77.

15. Dallosso H, Matthews R, McGrother C, Donaldson M. Diet as a risk factor for the development of stress urinary incontinence: a longitudinal study in women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004;58:920-6.

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18. Bryant CM, Dowell CJ, Fairbrother G. Caffeine reduction education to improve urinary symptoms. Br J Nurs 2002;11:560-5.

19. Swithinbank L, Hashim H, Abrams P. The effect of fluid intake on urinary symptoms in women. J Urol 2005;174:187-9.

20. Tomlinson BU, Dougherty MC, Pendergast JF, et al. Dietary caffeine, fluid intake and urinary incontinence in older rural women. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 1999;10:22-8.

21. Dowd TT, Campbell JM, Jones JA. Fluid intake and urinary incontinence in older community-dwelling women. J Community Health Nurs 1996;13:179-86.

22. Bump RC, McClish DK. Cigarette smoking and urinary incontinence in women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1992;167:1213-8.

23. Koskimaki J, Hakama M, Huhtala H, Tammela TL. Association of smoking with lower urinary tract symptoms. J Urol 1998;159:1580-2.

24. Shamliyan T, Wyman J, Bliss DZ, et al. Prevention of urinary and fecal incontinence in adults. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep) 2007;161:1-379 [review].

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26. Townsend MK, Danforth KN, Rosner B, et al. Physical activity and incident urinary incontinence in middle-aged women. J Urol 2008;179:1012-6.

27. Danforth KN, Shah AD, Townsend MK, et al. Physical activity and urinary incontinence among healthy, older women. Obstet Gynecol 2007;109:721-7.

28. Wolin KY, Luly J, Sutcliffe S, et al. Risk of urinary incontinence following prostatectomy: the role of physical activity and obesity. J Urol 2010;183:629-33.

29. Hunskaar S. A systematic review of overweight and obesity as risk factors and targets for clinical intervention for urinary incontinence in women. Neurourol Urodyn 2008;27:749-57 [review].

30. Subak LL, Richter HE, Hunskaar S. Obesity and urinary incontinence: epidemiology and clinical research update. J Urol 2009;182(6 Suppl):S2-7 [review].

31. Subak LL, Wing R, West DS, et al. Weight loss to treat urinary incontinence in overweight and obese women. N Engl J Med 2009;360:481-90.

32. Brown JS, Wing R, Barrett-Connor E, et al. Lifestyle intervention is associated with lower prevalence of urinary incontinence: the Diabetes Prevention Program. Diabetes Care 2006;29:385-90.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat URINARY INCONTINENCE. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing