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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Total Incontinence in Women

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

One cause of total incontinence in women is neurogenic bladder, an involuntary contraction of the bladder that forces the release of urine. Total incontinence can also be caused by a vesicovaginal fistula, an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the vagina. Spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders that affect nerve function can also lead to total incontinence.

Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB

Bladder Training

When you have trouble controlling your bladder, you never know when you're going to feel the sudden, uncontrollable urge to go. You can get to the point where you are scheduling your entire life around the availability of a bathroom. The fear of leaking while shopping or out with friends can be embarrassing enough to make you stay home. Bladder control problems are something most people are reluctant to talk about, even with their doctors. Yet having that discussion can help you find a solution...

Read the Bladder Training article > >

Treatment

Total incontinence is usually treated by using a thin tube (catheter) 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 cannot be used. These methods do not treat the incontinence but may make it possible to manage the problem.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last Revised September 13, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 13, 2010
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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