What Causes Urinary Incontinence in Women

February 4, 2017



Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that refers to the involuntary leakage of urine or when control over urinary sphincter/bladder is either lost or weakened leading. Women suffer from this condition twice as often as men. It can be devastating at times instigating awkwardness, emotive suffering, and embarrassment.
Successful management of urinary incontinence involves lifestyle and behavioural modifications, quitting smoking, bladder training, and pelvic floor exercises as a first-line therapy. Increased physical activity and weight reduction play a major role in the treatment of urinary incontinence. Bulking agents, medical devices, electrical nerve stimulation, medications, Botox injections, and surgery are other treatment options.

Causes of Different Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is caused by conditions that stretch the pelvic floor muscles such as childbirth, weight gain. When these muscles can’t support the bladder well, the bladder drops down and pushes against the vagina. Then you can’t tighten the muscles that usually close off the urethra. So the urine may leak because of the extra pressure on the bladder when you a cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or do other activities. This is the most common type of urinary incontinence.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is caused when the bladder muscle involuntarily contracts and pushes urine out of the bladder. The cause can be irritation of the bladder, emotional stress, brain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or stroke. Overactive bladder is a kind of urge incontinence. Urgency incontinence is the result of involuntary bladder contractions leading to loss of urine.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is the involuntary release of urine-due to a weak bladder muscle or to blockage-when the bladder becomes overly full, even though the person feels no urge to urinate. Conditions that affect the nerves (such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis), blockage of the urinary tract such as a bladder stone or a urinary tract tumor that constricts the urethra can cause overflow incontinence.

Total Incontinence
Total incontinence is the continuous and total loss of urinary control. Causes are neurogenic bladder, Spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders that affect nerve function, vesicovaginal fistula which is an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the vagina.

Functional incontinence: This occurs when some sort of physical debility or external hurdle, arise that obstruct a person from reaching to a toilet within time. Reasons behind this are Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a disabled person in a wheelchair, painful conditions such as arthritis or gout.

Transient incontinence: It is a condition that lasts for a temporary phase or a short time. This is usually caused by medications or a temporary condition, such as a urinary tract infection, caffeine or alcohol consumption, chronic coughing, constipation, medication, short-term mental impairment or restricted mobility.

Other risk factors allied to urinary incontinence are:

  1. Obesity
  2. Smoking
  3. Old age
  4. Interstitial cystitis
  5. Certain medications, such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, antidepressants, sedatives
  6. Family history

Related Post: 6 Reasons for Women to visit a Urologist