Urinary incontinence

This is the unwanted or involuntary loss of urine - out of your control. It can cause embarrassment, worry and even fear of leaving home, massively affecting self esteem and quality of life.

This can affect women at any age and is divided into stress incontinence (loss of urine when bladder is under pressure e.g. sneezing, coughing, laughing hard, jumping) and urge incontinence (need to run to the loo quickly). Sometimes the scenario can be a combination of the two.

Up to half of men and women may experience incontinence at some time in their lives. The problems can range form mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting and the need to constantly wear a protective pad.   

Stress incontinence

Occurs when you increase your intraabdominal pressure so much with say a cough or sneeze that the muscle holding the urethra closed (urethral sphincter), cannot hold back the urine that is in the bladder,

Urge incontinence

Another name for an overactive bladder. If bladder muscles become too active you can sense the need to go to the bathroom with even the smallest amount of urine in your bladder; as such with cystitis. Women with urge incontinence can find themselves repeatedly visiting the bathroom in the day and planning trips out around locations of toilets.

A recent review study showed that behavioural therapy (exercises to strengthen bladder floor or bladder training) was more effective than drugs in treating stress or urge incontinence in women. 

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