Urinary incontinence is a common condition experienced by millions of adults around the world on a daily basis. It is generally defined an involuntary lose of urine and can present itself in many guises. The loss of urine can be as little as a few drops, or in some cases, it can also be quite substantial.
A kidney infection if not treated properly, can permanently damage your kidneys, or the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.
Also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS), it is a common condition attributed to things like Urinary Tract Infection, Bladder stones, Crohn’s Disease or even Bladder Cancer.
Some people may notice they lose a few drops when they’re laughing, coughing, sneezing or exerting pressure on the bladder such as when lifting heavy objects. Some even get it while running or exercising. This is called stress incontinence.
Others experience what’s called urge incontinence where they feel a strong overwhelming urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. The bladder fools you into thinking it’s full when mostly it’s not.
Many even experience both these symptoms at the same time. This is what’s called mixed incontinence.
Overflow incontinence involves the bladder ‘overflowing’ from not being able to empty because of an obstruction either in the bladder itself or because there is something pressing against the bladder sphincter (usually the prostate in men).
There are other forms of incontinence including functional incontinence, transient (or temporary) incontinence and total incontinence.
Usually, urinary incontinence causes have to do with any number of factors impacting the bladder.
Women experience urinary incontinence twice as often as men. Usually their cause of incontinence can be put down to just being a woman. This means they go though pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, all of which have a debilitating effect on their pelvic floor muscles and supportive tissue. Unfortunately, after a while everything tends to loosen up and the result is involuntary bladder leakage.
In men, the prostate tends to play havoc with the bladder and is the usual culprit. However, both women and men can become incontinent from taking certain medications, neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems that are a part of growing old.
But there are many other urinary incontinence causes that should also be taken into consideration. Most have to do with organs of the urinary tract and can range from infections in the bladder, kidneys or the urinary tract itself, to more serious problems like prolapse, enlarged prostate and even bladder cancer.
This section explains some of the causes of incontinence and some of the treatment options available.
Kimberly-Clark Australia makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.