Urinary Incontinence

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of control resulting in urinary leakage. It is one of the commonest problems urologists are asked to evaluate and treat. Fortunately, all forms of this embarrassing and inconvenient problem can be successfully treated in most cases.

Incontinence is common in the elderly but is also present in younger people. The fact that an aisle in most supermarkets is devoted to incontinence supplies and devices is testimony to the prevalence of this problem. There are several types of urinary incontinence, each having a different cause or etiology. In seniors (especially in women) urge incontinence or the inability to control the sudden urge to urinate resulting in very frequent voiding and leakage is seen regularly. It can be caused by neurological diseases (e.g.. stroke, Parkinson’s disease) or simply the aging and weakening of the urinary control mechanism. Most of these cases respond to medication and other treatments.

Stress urinary incontinence or the leakage of urine associated with physical activity (coughing, laughing, exercise) is common in younger women but it occurs in the elderly as well. This form of incontinence is treated successfully with medication and/or surgery.

The discussion of urinary incontinence could go on and on. The message I want to convey here is that the problem is very common but also very treatable.

Although patients are embarrassed and shy about this problem, I recommend that one seek consultation. You certainly will benefit from the many available remedies for this common distressing modality.