The facts on urinary incontinence

Woman sitting on top of a toilet

Urinary incontinence is the most common type of pelvic floor disorder, followed by fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Unfortunately, women often accept urinary incontinence as a normal part of aging. But it is not normal and there are multiple treatment options that can improve a woman’s quality of life. Childbirth and increasing age, especially when women reach their perimenopausal and menopausal years, are the two most common factors that increase a woman’s risk for urinary incontinence. Other contributing risk factors include menopause, obesity, cigarette smoking and chronic constipation.

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There are many different treatment options available depending on the type and severity of the problem including behavioral changes, medications, procedures and surgery. Many women can find relief by merely making some behavior adjustments like limiting their caffeine and fluid intake, practicing Kegel exercises and participating in a physical therapy program. In severe cases, several surgical techniques are available to help treat stress incontinence. While urinary incontinence is primarily a quality of life issue, it is important to seek medical advice as sometimes incontinence may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition such as a urinary tract infection or a urinary malignancy. Watch this short video to learn more about urinary incontinence.