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Urinary Incontinence

Summary

Urinary incontinence (UI) is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.

Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. This is stress incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best fits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures prescribed by your doctor, or surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Images

Health Check Tools

  • (DSHI Systems)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (BroadcastMed) - Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA, 6/20/2014
  • Bladder function - neurological control Video (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • Video (BroadcastMed) - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, 05/11/2011

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse) Also in

Men

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Women

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) - PDF Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (UpToDate)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Seniors

  • (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)

Patient Handouts

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