Urinary Incontinence In Women


Around 50 percent of women experience urinary incontinence, which can limit their daily activities and affect their quality of life. Many women who experience urinary incontinence do not seek care, mostly due to embarrassment, lack of knowledge about treatment options, and fear of surgery.

Women with symptoms of urinary incontinence, also known as the accidental loss of urine, have treatment options that can support their return to good physical and emotional health.

The two most common reasons for accidental loss of urine are stress incontinence and urgency incontinence. It is important for a health care provider to determine whether accidental loss of urine is caused by either stress incontinence or urgency incontinence, as treatment options differ.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs during movement or other physical activity, including coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising, which all temporarily increase abdominal pressure, which is in turn referred to the bladder. It is important to note that stress incontinence is not caused by psychological stress. It is also not associated with the urge to void. Women who do not seek treatment for urinary incontinence often cope with symptoms by:

  • Doing maneuvers that will prevent leakage; accepting or tolerating occasional symptoms.

  • Stopping exercise routines, which may have a negative impact on their overall health.

  • Limiting activity with their children, grandchildren or significant others due to fear of leakage.

There are treatment options with minimal to no down time that can dramatically improve symptoms. Treatment options include pelvic floor muscle exercises or Kegels, pelvic floor physical therapy, use of a vaginal insert, urethral bulking or by providing urethral support.

Urgency Incontinence

Urgency incontinence is the leakage of urine that is preceded by the desire to urinate.

Urgency incontinence is associated with overactive bladder — a condition in which patients have symptoms such as increased urination at nighttime and urinary frequency or urgency, whether or not there is leakage.

Examples of urgency incontinence include not getting to the bathroom before experiencing leakage, the onset of strong urgency while hearing running water that causes leakage, or sudden leakage that occurs with changing positions, such as standing up after being seated. Fear of leakage often increases affected individuals’ frequency of bathroom breaks in order to assure their bladders are empty.

Treatment for urgency incontinence may include making dietary changes to limit irritants to the bladder, behavioral modification techniques such as bladder retraining, medication to help calm the bladder, use of botox for the bladder, and nerve stimulation.

The goal at Anne Arundel Urology is to help you return to doing the things that you love and make you happy, without worry. If you are experiencing the symptoms above, or have questions, call 410-266-8049 or visit www.aaurology.com to schedule an appointment. Same-day appointments may be available at some locations.


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