Urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder expels urine when a person isn't actively trying to urinate. Stress urinary incontinence, by far the most common kind of incontinence, happens if the bladder is under unusual pressure. For example, stress incontinence might happen when a person does some heavy lifting, when they're pregnant, or when they are laughing very hard.
Urge urinary incontinence is also sometimes referred to as overactive bladder. In this type of urinary incontinence, a person will often experience sudden urges to urinate. The urges can be quite unpredictable and come on so rapidly that there just isn't time to make it to the bathroom.
Overflow urinary incontinence isn't as common as stress urinary incontinence or urge urinary incontinence. With overflow urinary incontinence, a person is unable to totally empty the bladder when they urinate. The results in a buildup of urine in the bladder, and this extra urine may leak at times when a person's not attempting to urinate.
Urinary incontinence is most common in women, especially those 35 and up. Women who drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, drink a lot of alcohol, and have a poor diet are more likely to have urinary incontinence. Overweight and obese women are much more likely to develop urinary incontinence, as the excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on the bladder. Certain diseases like diabetes and neurological disease may increase a person's risk level for developing urinary incontinence as well. Smokers are more likely to have stress urinary incontinence due to a chronic cough.
The treatment for urinary incontinence varies by patient. In many cases, it's possible to reduce urinary incontinence through lifestyle changes. For example, if a patient loses excess weight and stops smoking it can make a big difference and maybe even stop symptoms. Dr. Barrett can prescribe medications to help with urinary incontinence when necessary, and there may be other options like the MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser for cases of mild urinary incontinence.