Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control. It means that urine leaks from the bladder.
Urinary incontinence gets more common as people get older. It is a problem for as many as 1 in 3 Americans age 60 or older.
There are different types of incontinence:
Incontinence may be caused or made worse by problems such as:
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and examine you. Blood and urine samples will be checked for infection or other problems.
You may be referred to a urologist or gynecologist. A urologist specializes in problems with the urinary tract in both men and women and in the reproductive tract of men. A gynecologist specializes in women's health and especially in problems with the reproductive tract.
Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Treatment may include:
You can help keep your pelvic floor muscles strong by doing Kegel exercises every day.
Incontinence caused by an enlarged prostate can sometimes be prevented with medicine that you start taking when you have early symptoms of prostate enlargement, such as frequent urination.
You may not be able to prevent incontinence if it is a symptom of other problems. This is why it is important to talk about it with your healthcare provider.