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Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence can be defined as involuntary urine loss or flow. This may be seen as a 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. Urinary incontinence hinders normal activities and can be debilitating.

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. Stress urinary incontinence may resolve with physiotherapy. In those that fail physiotherapy, a thin tape may be placed below the urethra through small skin incisions. This tape, known as Tension-free Vaginal Tape or TVT effectively stops the urine leak.

If bladder muscles become too active, it creates the feeling of a strong urge to go to the bathroom even when there is little urine in the bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder.

When the bladder is unable to empty, further urine flowing into the bladder form the kidneys will cause a spill over. This is known as overflow incontinence. In men, this is usually caused by BPH. Please read the section in Prostate Clinic.

Muscles called the urinary sphincter regulate the control of the bladder outlet. This control mechanism may be damaged or affected by disease leading to a loss of urine. This is a true loss of bladder control and is known as true incontinence.

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.




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