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Urinary incontinence in women

Urinary incontinence in women It is a condition that many women choose to ignore, but incontinence is a widespread disorder that may affect one in five women. It is likely that the true number of people affected is much higher. Many women do not seek help about their urinary incontinence due to embarrassment. Urinary incontinence can have a devastating effect restricting personal and social life for fear of an embarrassing leakage. Yet many women regardless of age put up with incontinence needlessly, thinking it’s a normal part of having children, going into menopause or a normal part of ageing that cannot be treated.Unknown-1

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence in women. It is estimated that about three million people in the UK are regularly incontinent. Well over half of these are due to stress incontinence. If you suffer from stress incontinence you may find you leak urine with things like coughing, sneezing or exercise. Stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder are weakened. Childbirth is a common reason for a weak pelvic floor. As many as 1 in 5 women over the age of 40 have some degree of stress incontinence. The main treatment for stress incontinence is bladder training, medication or surgery to tighten or support the bladder outlet.

Urge incontinence (Overactive Bladder or OAB)

The second most common type of incontinence in women is urge incontinence also known as overactive bladder (OAB). With urge incontinence you experience a sudden urgency to pass urine. Urine may leak before you have time to get to the toilet. Treatment is different to that of stress incontinence.

Mixed incontinence

Some women can suffer from both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. This is known as mixed incontinence.