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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.

Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB

At the Gym With Incontinence

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...

Read the At the Gym With Incontinence article > >


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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