Why Can’t I Hold My Pee? Learn about Urinary Incontinence

dreamstime_s_54956645Urinary incontinence is quite common, especially among women. Many women (up to 95 percent) will experience the loss of bladder control during their reproductive years and through menopause.

What are the different types of urinary incontinence?

There are four main types of urinary incontinence: stress, urge, overflow, and mixed incontinence.

  • Stress incontinence refers to an action that causes you to ‘leak’ urine involuntarily, like laughing, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Urge incontinence refers to when you feel the need to urinate, but you can’t make it to a bathroom in time.
  • Overflow incontinence is when your bladder overfills and can no longer hold urine. Overflow tends to happen when there is an obstruction in your urethra or when nerve damage is present.
  • Mixed incontinence occurs when there are two or more causes for urinary incontinence, such as stress and urge or overflow and urge.

Why does urinary incontinence occur?

Many women tend to assume that urinary incontinence is simply a part of being female, like having a period or going through menopause. However, incontinence is actually due to a medical condition. You do not need to ignore incontinence or choose to just live with it. You have options. Incontinence treatment has evolved with modern urogynecology, and patients are able to take advantage of a variety of treatment options, though each treatment may differ depending on your type of incontinence.

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Fortunately, with treatment, up to 90 percent of female urinary incontinence cases are either completely treated or significantly improved. There are lifestyle changes you can make to help ease your symptoms, but Dr. Wittenberg of UGCSF is highly experienced in treating all types and combinations of incontinence through physical therapy, medication, pessaries (device placed into the vagina to support your uterus, bladder, or rectum), nerve stimulation, or surgery.

You do not have to live with urinary incontinence. This condition can lower a patient’s quality of life due to its inconvenience, expense, and embarrassment. For those who experience incontinence, we hope you’ll contact UGCSF today to discuss your symptoms and embark on an effective treatment plan.