General Information

What is Urinary Incontinence?  

Urinary incontinence (also commonly referred to as UI) is defined as a loss of bladder control.  This can be caused by a number of things (see causes of UI) and is very common, especially among women.  

Why do I have Urinary Incontinence?

UI is much more common than you might think, affecting millions of people.  There are some risk factors though that might make you especially susceptible.  Risk factors include:
happy pregnant young woman

Gender – Women are significantly more likely than men to develop UI for a variety of reasons.

Pregnancy – Pregnancy can put extra weight on the bladder and childbirth can damage pelvic floor muscles, both of which can increase the likelihood of incontinence.

Age – As you get older your pelvic floor muscles get weaker, which increases the risk of UI.  Older people also have higher risk for other conditions that may cause UI, making it a very common problem among higher age brackets.

Weight – Excess weight can put extra pressure on the bladder, which increases the risk for UI. 

Other Conditions – Other conditions like neurological diseases or diabetes may also increase your risk for UI.

Complications of Urinary Incontinence

Although UI is already a complication of some other problem, it can cause its own problems as well.  A few of the complications that can be caused by urinary incontinence are:

Skin Problems – Because skin can often remain wet for long periods of time because of UI, skin problems such as rashes, skin infections and sores can occur.  Make sure to keep skin dry and clean and to change any pads or other products you use regularly.

Urinary Tract Infections –UTIs are not only a cause of incontinence, but they can also be a result.  Incontinence causes irritation of the bladder, which can increase the risk of infection.

Impact on Personal Life – Worry over the possibility of an accident can cause anxiety and may cause some to stop doing activities that they love or to miss out on  social opportunities that could make them happy.