Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine.  Incontinence is extremely common with up to 50% of women suffering with this condition

Although the rates increase with age, incontinence among young women is quite common. Pregnancy, childbirth and ageing are considered to be among the most common causes of urinary incontinence. However, many other factors can cause urinary incontinence (e.g. some types of medication, chronic cough).

Many women with bladder problems are reluctant to discuss this problem with anyone, or may be too embarrassed to acknowledge that they have a problem. Sometimes women are made to feel that these conditions are 'normal', especially as they get older, and that, since bladder problems like this are rarely life-threatening, they are not really a problem. But the truth is that incontinence can have a very significant impact on your quality of life. Scientific studies that measures of quality of life show significant changes for the worse when a woman experiences bladder problems; they may begin to stop exercising or participating in physical or social activities as a result of leakage, which can further reduce health and quality of life. Work and social activities, and sexual intimacy may also suffer as a result. 

The good news is that the majority of women who seek help for their bladder problems will experience significant improvement with appropriate assessment and treatment.

Types of bladder control problems.

Female urinary incontinence can be grouped in several distinct categories.

Stress Incontinence: Urine leakage occurs with increases in abdominal pressure (physical “stress”) from activities such as coughing, sneezing and excercising.

Urge Incontinence: Often referred to as “overactive bladder.” Urge incontinence is the inability to hold urine long enough to reach the toilet in time. Urge incontience is usually associated with a strong desire to pass urine (urinary urgency).

Mixed Incontinence: Refers to the presence of both stress and urge incontinence. For example, someone has the combination of stress incontinence (leaking with coughing, sneezing, exercise, etc.) and urge incontinence (leaking along with a need to get to the bathroom), this is known as mixed urinary incontinence. Often, a woman may first experience one kind of leaking, and finds that the other begins to occur later

Other, less common causes of urinary incontinence include: 

Overflow Incontinence; Functional Incontinence; Fistula and Urethral Diverticulum.