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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Total Incontinence - Topic Overview

Total incontinence is the continuous and total loss of urinary control.

One cause is neurogenic bladder. This is a neurological problem that prevents the bladder from emptying as it should. Spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders that affect nerve function can also lead to total incontinence. In women it can be caused by a vesicovaginal fistula. This is an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the vagina.

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In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including some of the most common beliefs about medicine. In our September 2011 issue, we asked Jane Miller, MD, an associate professor of urology at Washington University's School of Medicine, about the link between diaphragms and painful bladder infections. Q: My friend says I'm getting urinary tract infections because I use a diaphragm. Is she right? A: It's TRUE. Diaphragm...

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Total incontinence is usually treated by using a thin tube, called a catheter. You use it to empty the bladder regularly. This is called intermittent self-catheterization.

Absorbent products such as pads or disposable underwear are usually used when other methods of treating incontinence have failed or can't be used. These methods don't treat the incontinence. But they may make it possible to manage the problem.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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