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What is female urology -incontinence (loss of bladder control)?

Urinary incontinence affects more women than men, the reasons being reproductive health events related to women, like pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause affect the bladder, urethra, and other muscles that are around these organs may become weaker. When these supportive muscles become weak, the muscles in the urinary tract need to work harder to hold the urine. This pressure or stress on the bladder and urethra causes incontinence or leakage.

This condition can occur to women at any age but is more common in older women. This is because of the hormonal changes during menopause.

What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is not a disease but is a symptom of another health issue, mostly related to weak pelvic floor muscles. Some of the other symptoms are pressure in the pelvic area that causes the urge to urinate, frequent urination, bedwetting.

What causes urinary incontinence?

The causes of urinary incontinence are related to the muscles and nerves that help the bladder hold or pass urine. Health events of women such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause can cause this condition.

Other causes could be – overweight, constipation, nerve damage, surgery.

Sometimes this condition lasts only for a short time and might have happened because of certain medications, caffeine, and infections.

What are the types of urinary incontinence that affect women?

There are two types of urinary incontinence in women that are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Sometimes women may have both the condition of urinary incontinence that is called “mixed” incontinence.

How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?

The doctor will do a physical exam to look for signs and health problems that are causing incontinence such as

  • frequency of urination,
  • how and when you leak urine,
  • how much urine you leak,
  • from when you noticed,
  • any ongoing medications.

Tests include: Urine test, ultrasound, bladder stress test, cystoscopy, urodynamics, urinalysis,

You may be asked to track down certain points like when you empty your bladder and leak urine. This will help to understand the patterns of incontinence and underlining causes and give the treatment that works for you.

What is the treatment for urinary incontinence?

Initially, you will be suggested with few steps which you can start at home like Kegel exercises, training the bladder, losing weight, healthy eating habits, avoid smoking and alcohol, treating constipation.

Medicines are given for the overactive bladder to block the nerve signals that cause frequent urination and urgency.

Biofeedback uses measuring devices that help in understanding the body’s functioning. By using this, you can track when your bladder and urethral muscles contract, you can get control over these muscles.

Bulking agents, vaginal pessary, etc.

Nonsurgical treatments for urge incontinence are- medicines, Botox, nerve stimulation, biofeedback, surgery.


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