Urinary incontinence is a problem with the control of urine as it flows out of the body. It may cause rare, minor leaks or more severe wetting. There are different type of urinary incontinence including:
Stress incontinence—urine leaks out when you are active and when you cough, sneeze, or laugh
Urge incontinence (overactive bladder)—the muscle of the bladder squeezes when it shouldn't and lets urine leak
Overflow incontinence—bladder does not empty properly; urine builds up in the bladder and overflows
Functional incontinence—the bladder is normal, but you are unable to reach the toilet in time
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor will ask about your urine leakage and how often you empty your bladder. A physical exam will be done to look for some causes such as blockages or nerve problems.
If the cause is not clear in first exam you may be asked to to keep a diary of your urinary habits. A specialist may also be needed. Urologists are doctors who focus on urinary issues.
Tests to help find the cause of the incontinence may include:
Stress test—you relax, and then cough as your doctor watches for loss of urine (this will confirm if you have stress incontinence)
Tests to explore problems with your prostate, such as a prostate exam or blood tests
Blood tests to detect diabetes
Ultrasound—can show if any urine remains in your bladder after urinating
—a thin tube with a tiny camera is passed into the bladder through the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body); it can show any problems with the urethra or bladder
Urodynamic tests—measures the flow of urine and the pressure in the bladder
You may need surgery if a blockage is causing the problem. The most common problem is an enlarged prostate.
Sometimes the incontinence is caused by a problem with the bladder sphincter. This sphincter is a tight group of muscle that allows urine to flow or stops urine from passing. Surgery may be needed to repair it.
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https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems-men. Updated November 2015. Accessed December 19, 2017.
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Treatment of incontinence. Continence Foundation website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed December 19, 2017.
Urinary incontinence. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated March 2013. Accessed December 19, 2017.