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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:

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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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