Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence—also known as urge incontinence—is a condition involving a sudden and frequent uncontrollable need to urinate. Urine leakage may accompany these urges. This condition may cause problems with everyday life. People may feel embarrassment or have difficulties with work schedules due to frequent bathroom visits. Having to wake up during the night to urinate may also cause chronic fatigue.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

In addition to frequent urges to urinate and urinary leakage, signs to watch out for include:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Bladder spasms

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Urge incontinence is not a normal condition of aging and may signal a more serious underlying medical problem that should be further investigated. Causes of this condition include:

  • Bladder infection or inflammation
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder stones, usually in men
  • Obstruction of the bladder opening
  • Enlarged prostate in men
  • Nervous system disease, like stroke or multiple sclerosis
  • Trauma to the spinal cord or nervous system
  • Obesity
  • Acidic or spicy diet
  • Frequency of bathroom visits

According to the National Institutes of Health, 45,000 men and 17,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year.

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