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Female Urinary Incontinence

The loss of bladder control is a common problem – especially for women. Some women experience leaking urine when they sneeze, cough or lift a heavy object. This is the most common type of bladder control problem and is called stress incontinence. Other women suffer more severe symptoms such as a sudden urge to urinate; an urge so strong that they have little time to make it to a restroom. This type of incontinence results from an overactive bladder and is called urge incontinence. Some women may suffer from a mix of stress and urge incontinence.

Additional types of bladder control problems include:

  • Functional incontinence - leakage due to person's inability to reach the bathroom in time due to a physical condition such as Alzheimer's or arthritis
  • Overflow incontinence – the quantity of urine produced exceed the bladder's capacity to hold it

Most bladder control problems occur when muscles that help hold urine in the bladder are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are too weak, you many experience leaking urine. Active muscles result in a strong urge to use the bathroom when little urine is present in the bladder.

Causes

Urinary incontinence is twice as common in women as men. The primary causes include:

  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Childbirth
  • Constipation
  • Excess Weight
  • Infection
  • Medicine
  • Menopause
  • Nerve damage
  • Pregnancy
  • Pelvic Prolapse (weakened pelvic floor muscles)