About 12 million adults in the U.S. have some form of urinary incontinence. Women are affected more often than men, and while incontinence is more common in older people, it also affects younger people.
You're toiling on the treadmill, Stairmaster, or recumbent bicycle -- and the accident happens: a little urinary incontinence. Small leaks can occur whether you're a teen or a woman in her 20s and upward. Often incontinence starts after childbirth or as the result of athletic injuries. Some men have incontinence problems after prostate surgery.
"Unfortunately, people [with incontinence] stop doing things they enjoy, like high-impact aerobics," says Roger Dmochowski, MD, a urologist and director...
A number of reputable organizations can help you obtain credible information about urinary incontinence, including:
The National Association for Continenceis a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that provides educational information about urinary incontinence, incontinence products and services, and can help you find a doctor who specializes in treating it.
The American Urogynecologic Society is involved in research and education about incontinence and other urogynecologic conditions. They offer educational information about incontinence and referrals to urogynecologists -- gynecologists who have extra training in female urologic conditions.
Check Out Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence
Treatment options for urinary incontinence are plentiful, and the outlook is far from dismal. About 80% of those who are affected by urinary incontinence can get better with treatment. But, to make living with it easier, you must seek help.
Treatment options depend on the type of incontinence you have and how severe it is. Sometimes a simple dietary change, such as cutting back on fluids, is all that is needed.
But more often, you will need a combination of approaches to get relief. For instance, for stress incontinence, you may be advised to do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and use panty liners or pads to prevent excess leakage.
For more severe urinary incontinence, your doctor may recommend prescription medication or a surgical procedure, such as an operation designed to support the bladder and prevent leakage of urine, to make living with the condition more tolerable.