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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a very common condition, affecting people of different ages. Urinary incontinence is described as the unintentional passing of urine.


There are different types of urinary incontinence. The most common including:


  • Stress incontinence – this occurs when the bladder is under pressure. For example, urine leaks when you cough or laugh

  • Urge incontinence – this occurs when you leak at the same time or just before you get the sudden urge to go to the toilet

  • Overflow incontinence – this type of incontinence can also be referred to as chronic urinary retention. This happens when the bladder is unable to fully empty and therefore results in frequent leaking

  • Total incontinence – this occurred when the bladder is unable to store any urine and therefore results in constant or regular urinary leaking


For some, they may experience a mixture of both stress and urge incontinence.


If you believe that you are experiencing urinary incontinence it is a good idea to go and see your GP. Although you might find this first step slightly embarrassing, it is the necessary step to get your condition under control; remember it is a very common condition.


Urinary incontinence is usually caused by a muscle weakness or an obstruction/ blockage. In some cases, this can also be caused by birth defects or spinal injuries (this is less common).


Here are some factors that put you at risk of developing urinary incontinence:


  • Pregnancy and child birth

  • Obesity

  • A family history

  • Ageing


After seeing you GP you may be referred to see a specialist about your symptoms. They will go over the different treatment options. These will usually include lifestyle changes; surgery will only be offered as a last resort.


Here are some lifestyle changes you can follow to improve your urinary incontinence:

  • Maintain a healthy weight – this can helps to relieve some of the pressure on the bladder

  • Drinking – try to remove or reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you are drinking.

  • Pelvic floor exercise – if you incontinence is cause by a weak muscle, these exercise can help to relieve the symptoms.


This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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