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What Increases Your Risk

Sometimes several things combine to cause urinary incontinence. For example, a woman may have had multiple childbirths, be older, and have a severe cough because of chronic bronchitis or smoking. All of these might contribute to her incontinence problem.

Physical conditions that make urinary incontinence more likely include:

Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB

Living With Urinary Incontinence

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. Among the most common types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence, which can cause leaking urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, and urge incontinence, in which a sudden urge to urinate often makes it difficult to make it to the bathroom in time. Urinary incontinence is an inconvenient,...

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  • Pregnancy and vaginal delivery.
  • Having had a hysterectomy.
  • Obesity or being overweight.
  • Older age.
  • Bladder stones.
  • Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract.
  • Blockage of the bladder.
  • Chronic bladder infections.

Diseases and conditions that may cause urinary incontinence include:

Medicines and foods that may make urinary incontinence worse include:

  • Caffeinated and carbonated drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda pop.
  • Alcohol drinks.
  • Prescription medicines that increase urine production (such as diuretics) or relax the bladder (such as anticholinergics and antidepressants).
  • Smoking.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 14, 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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