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Incontinence

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Updated April 28, 2014

Definition: Incontinence is the inability to control urination. It affects people of all ages and gender, but woman are twice as likely as men to develop incontinence.

Four Types of Incontinence

Stress Incontinence: Incontinence that occurs during coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects or making other movements that put pressure, or stress, on the bladder. This results from weak pelvic muscles or a weakening of the wall between the bladder and vagina. The weakness is due to pregnancy and childbirth or from lower levels of the hormone estrogen during menstrual periods or after menopause.
Urge Incontinence: Incontinence after feeling a sudden urge to urinate with inability to control the bladder, such as while sleeping, drinking water or listening to water running.
Overflow Incontinence: Incontinence that occurs when the bladder is constantly full, and reaches a point where it overflows and leaks urine. This condition can occur when the urethra is blocked due to causes such as kidney or urinary stones, tumors or, an enlarged prostate. It may also be the result of weak bladder muscles, due to nerve damage from diabetes or other diseases.
Functional Incontinence: Incontinence that occurs when physical disabilities, external obstacles, or problems in thinking or communicating prevent a person from getting to a bathroom before they urinate.

Also Known As: Urinary Incontinence, Over Active Bladder

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