35% of people over the age of 60 have been found to have some form of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is defined as “any leakage of urine”. It is a common problem which can impact a patient’s quality of life. It is more common in women than men. Among other things, risk factors can include pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.
The two most common types of incontinence are stress and urgency incontinence. Urge incontinence is caused by an over active bladder and stress incontinence is due to poor closure of the bladder. Stress incontinence often occurs with coughing or sneezing. Patients with both problems have mixed urinary incontinence. Enuresis often used to classify urinary incontinence in children.
Diagnosis is confirmed through urinalysis, physical exam and occasionally urodynamics and cystoscopy.
Treatment includes oral medications, pelvic floor muscle training, bladder training and electrical stimulation. Conservative treatment include behavior modification and avoiding bladder irritants.