Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. The severity of this problem ranges from an occasional urine leak when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that is so strong you can’t get to a toilet in time.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by everyday habits, underlying medical conditions or other physical problems. Common foods, drinks and medications can cause urinary incontinence, including alcohol, caffeine, heart medications, artificial sweeteners, or products that are high in spice, sugar and acid.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are several types of urinary incontinence, including:

  • Stress incontinence – the loss of urine when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising
  • Urge incontinence – a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by involuntary loss of urine
  • Overflow incontinence – the inability to empty your bladder which causes frequent urine dribbling
  • Mixed incontinence – experiencing more than one type of incontinence
  • Functional incontinence – common in older adults, this is a mental or physical impairment that keeps you from making it to the toilet in time, such as having arthritis
  • Total incontinence – continuous leak of urine, day and night, or the periodic uncontrollable leaking of large volumes of urine

It is important to see your doctor if you experience any of the above types of incontinence. In some cases, urinary incontinence can be a sign of another health condition.

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence

If you experience a type of urinary incontinence, your doctor may perform some of the following tests:

  • Bladder diary
  • Urinalysis to check for signs of infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities
  • Blood test
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Stress test
  • Cystoscopy

Treating Urinary Incontinence

Treatments for urinary incontinence depend on the type of incontinence, the severity of the problem and the underlying cause. A combination of treatments may be needed and your doctor will work with you to determine the approach that is best for you. Typical treatments may include behavioral techniques, physical therapy, medications, medical devices and interventional therapies. In some cases, surgery is an option if other treatments do not work.

Academic Urology Locations

  • Brinton Lake

    Crozer Medical Plaza
    500 Evergreen Dr.,
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • Bryn Mawr

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 300
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Center for Pelvic Medicine, LLC

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 301
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Coatesville

    213 Reeceville Rd
    Coatesville, PA 19320

  • Glen Mills

    100 Maris Grove Way
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • King of Prussia

    211 S. Gulph Rd.
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • Media

    200 East State Street
    Suite 205
    Media, PA 19063

  • Paoli

    2 Industrial Boulevard
    Building C, Suite 120
    Paoli, PA 19301

  • Phoenixville

    824 Main Street
    Suite 301
    Phoenixville, PA 19460

  • Pottstown

    20 Sunnybrook Road
    Pottstown, PA 19464

  • The Prostate Center

    211 South Gulph Rd.
    Suite 200
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • West Chester

    915 Old Fern Hill Road
    Building B
    West Chester, PA 19380

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