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.
It may be normal to have a rare sprint-to-the-bathroom emergency. Maybe after a long car ride or when you can't stop laughing at a funny story. But if you often leak or have an accident, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Incontinence can be embarrassing, but it's treatable.
Female urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is grouped into two main types. Stress incontinence causes urine to leak when you laugh, cough, exercise, or lift something heavy. Urge incontinence occurs without...
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.