What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the accidental release of urine. This leakage often occurs when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or have sudden urges to go to the bathroom and can’t get there in time. Incontinence is not a disease but a symptom of a problem with the lower urinary tract, and it is very common, especially among older adults. Typically, urinary incontinence does not cause major health problems, but it can be embarrassing and can affect a woman’s self-esteem and confidence.
Types of urinary incontinence in women:
- Stress incontinence occurs when you sneeze, cough, laugh, jog, or do other activities that put pressure on your bladder. It is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women.
- Urge incontinence, also called overactive bladder, occurs when the sensation to urinate is so strong that you cannot reach the toilet in time, even when your bladder contains only a small amount of urine. Conversely, other women may have no warning before they accidentally leak urine, and in some women, drinking water or hearing or putting their hands under running water causes accidents.
- Mixed incontinence is a combination of different types of incontinence, usually stress and urge incontinence. Stress and urge incontinence often occur together in older women.
(“Urinary Incontinence in Women.” WebMD.
Talk to your doctor or midwife for more information, including causes of incontinence and what can be done about it.