Millions of women suffer from urinary incontinence, which can an extremely embarrassing condition. Incontinence can take many forms, from the familiar sudden loss of bladder control to a small leak when you cough or sneeze.
In many cases it is simply an inconvenience. But when it begins to affect your daily activities and confidence, it's time to see your doctor at Florida Hospital Celebration Health.
Many factors can trigger urinary incontinence, including changes in the urinary tract, pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. You can also develop it because of birth defects, a neurologic injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke or just because you're getting older.
Incontinence occurs because there are problems with the nerves and muscles that help you store and release urine.
The symptoms of incontinence varies by type:
Stress incontinence: Small drops of urine are released when you exert stress on your bladder, either from sneezing, coughing, laughing or lifting a heavy object.
Urge incontinence: This type of incontinence is characterized by an intense, sudden urge to urinate, immediately followed by evacuation. At night you may awake with the same urge, with little notice before you urinate. Urinary incontinence is popularly known as overactive bladder.
Overflow incontinence: If your urine dribbles frequently or continually, you may have this health problem, which is caused by an inability to empty your bladder.
Mixed incontinence: This occurs when you have more than one form of incontinence, such as urge and stress incontinence at the same time.
Gross total incontinence: This is commonly used to describe a continuous leakage of urine or periodic uncontrolled leaking of large volumes of urine because the bladder lacks any storage capacity.
If you have urinary incontinence, know that you're not alone. While it can be embarrassing, it can also be addressed. Tell your doctor about your issues and see if there is a solution that will allow you to enjoy life to its fullest.