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What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is the loss of urine control.

According to the American Urological Association, one-quarter to one-third of men and women in the United States experience some form of urinary incontinence.

It is more common among women than men. An estimated 30% of females, aged 30-60 suffer from it, compared to 1.5-5% of men.

Below are some risk factors linked to urinary incontinence:

  • Obesity: people with obesity have increased pressure on their bladder and surrounding muscles. This weakens the muscles and makes it more likely that a leak occurs when the person sneezes or coughs.
  • Gender: women have a significantly higher chance of having incontinence than men, especially if they have had children.
  • Smoking: regular smokers are more likely to cough which results in many unexpected incidents of incontinence.  
  • Some diseases and conditions: People with diabetes, kidney disease, spinal cord injury, or neurologic diseases (in particular, residual deficits after a stroke.
  • Prostate - Patients with a history of prostate surgery or radiation therapy. 
  • Old age: Muscles in the bladder and urethra weaken with age.

Types of Incontinence: 

  1. Urge Incontinence.  Do you feel like you have to go to the bathroom when you’re about to enter your house? You have your keys somewhere in your purse and you simply cannot find them and the urge to go to the bathroom is even bigger.
  2. You may have an Overactive Bladder, or OAB. Urge Incontinence is when you feel a strong need to use the restroom right now.  This can happen out of the blue, and may even be triggered by hearing running water.
  3. Stress Incontinence.  Do you ever leak when you sneeze or laugh?  Do you hesitate to go for a run? If so, you may have stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the leakage of urine when extra ‘stress’ is placed on the bladder and is generally caused by weakened sphincter muscles. 
  4. Common causes include childbirth, general loss of muscle tone, nerve damage, and even chronic coughing, which places continued stress on the muscle. 
  5. Mixed Incontinence.  Do both of the above scenarios sound familiar to you?  You’re not alone.  Mixed Incontinence is when you feel both the urgent need to go, and experience leakage due to physical exertion, and is very common. 
  6. Urinary Retention.  Urinary retention is a type of incontinence but is different from above scenerios. It is when your bladder has trouble completely emptying itself. This is generally caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract, or nerve problems that interfere with signals between the brain and the bladder. Catheterization helps empty the bladder. 
  7. Symptoms of urinary retention include difficulty starting a stream of urine, feeling a frequent need to go, and feeling the need to urinate again soon after finishing. 

Call 866-548-1160 to speak to a Catheter or Ostomy Specialist, or simply complete the form below!