In this article:
What is urinary incontinence?
Effect on your life
Advice & Support
What is urinary incontinence?
More common in women than men, urinary incontinence is where urine leaks out of the vagina or penis unintentionally. This can happen at any time of the day or night and can be both embarrassing and inconvenient for the individual with the condition. The amount of leaked urine can range from a few tiny droplets to an involuntary flood, depending upon the severity of the condition.
The good news is that, in the vast majority of cases, urinary incontinence can be appropriately treated and cured.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence include:
Passing urine when you don’t want to
Urine leakages triggered by sudden body movements, such as coughing and/or laughing
Bloated bladder (a feeling of pressure on the bladder, even though you have just visited the toilet)
The sudden urge to pass urine
Problems emptying the bladder fully, even though you have already passed a large amount of urine
Note: Many people with severe urinary incontinence develop depressive illness due to struggling to cope with their condition. Please see contact details for the Depression Alliance in the Advice & Support section at the foot of this article.
Urinary incontinence is generally an expected part of the ageing process – the pelvic floor muscles gradually become weaker with the passing of the years.
However, other causes of urinary incontinence can include:
Bladder problems (i.e. the nerves in and around the bladder)
If you have recently had a baby
As a result of reaching the menopause
If you have Parkinson’s disease or a stroke
If you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms, arrange an appointment with your GP. They will take your medical history and ask your some questions about your symptoms.
A urine sample may be taken, to check for possible infection.
You may then be referred to an urologist for further tests. Once a confirmed diagnosis of urinary incontinence has been made, an appropriate treatment will then be recommended to you.
Effect on your life
For most people with urinary incontinence, their condition can be embarrassing and inconvenient. The sudden urge to pass urine (through urge incontinence) can make life very difficult. Needing to find a toilet in an emergency can obviously have an adverse effect on your work, social and family life.
You may find that wearing special underwear called incontinence pants (normal pants but with a plastic pad inside) helps to absorb the leaking urine.
Urinary incontinence can be cured.
As well as prescribed medications, treatments include:
Bladder training – this can be particularly helpful in reducing the sudden urge to find a toilet
Pelvic floor exercises – to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help prevent urine from leaking involuntarily
Advice on weight-loss and controlling the amount you drink
Hormone replacement therapy – this can sometimes be effective in reducing urinary incontinence in women at the post-menopause stage of their lives.
Advice & Support
The Bladder and Bowel Foundation
Nurse Helpline: 0845 345 0165
The Cystitis and Overactive Bladder Foundation
Tel. 01908 569169
Tel. 0845 123 23 20
This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.
- Author Articles
- More From This AuthorMeningitis is a serious condition for which immediate medical attention must be sought. In this article: What is meningitis? Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Effect on your life Treatment How Chemist Online...Most stomach ulcers can be cleared up with antibiotics. In this article: What is a stomach ulcer? Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment Advice & Support What is a stomach ulcer? A stomach ulcer can...Regularly drinking too much alcohol can lead to an increased risk of developing medical conditions, such as liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. In this article: What is problem drinking? ...Impotence – a man’s inability to maintain an erection – is not an inevitable part of ageing. In this article: What is impotence? Effect on your life Advice & Support Causes ...Depression affects 2 in 3 adults at some point in their lives. In this article: What is depression? Causes Treatments Symptoms Diagnosis Advice & Support What is...
- Related Articles
- Related ArticlesGirl work all the daylong and love to enjoy yoga practices with complete comfort and style. Yoga inside stretchable, elastic and straightforward clothes gives more relaxation and benefits compared to wearing...We know that kidney purifies the blood. It sends the impurities to bladder via ureter. These impurities are known as urine. When the sufficient amount of urine is stored in bladder, its muscles gets...The Federal Government and the State Government of California have taken several legislative measures to ensure that health insurance is accessible to all people irrespective of their health status and...People often think of healthy eating as a rocket science, but that is not the case. A key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation, balance and bifurcation. Now you must be thinking what is moderation?...Danger assessments are key to any commercial location, as they assist to decrease the peril of an unsafe event happening, cumulative staff and public safety.Health and safety training has always been...
- Latest Articles
- Latest ArticlesWhat are the various methods of birth control available? Children can bring much joy into the lives of the parents who raise them – joy which many couples take pains to delay until the time is just right....When you decide to travel by plane, do you think about the deadfalls of flying? Many people are like you, they also do not account the deadfalls of flying when they decide to travel by plane. That is because...Step by Step International School it provides a quality education to the students and it has many private and governmental institutes. It is well known fact that children are fast learner than normal human...The Everglades are a huge expanse of green wetland occupying a large section of Florida. They have the distinction of being a World Heritage Site (UNESCO), and are amongst the top visited destinations in the...You probably have heard the term Integrated Pest Management before. Integrated pest management or IPM is an ecologically based pest management strategy that provides long-term management of pest problems with...