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Urinary incontinence—the loss of bladder control—affects more than 15 million Americans, very often as a side effect of childbirth, surgery or aging. The Urology Services team at Houston Methodist Hospital offers patients sophisticated testing to determine the cause of incontinence as well as leading-edge treatments to correct the problem.
What Is Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, which can range from mild leakage to uncontrollable urine loss. There are two main types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence arises from a weakness in the muscles that keep your bladder closed. As a result, you may notice accidents when you laugh, sneeze, cough or try to lift a heavy object.
- Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, happens when the bladder muscles are overactive and may frequently cause you to feel the urge to urinate, but you have very little warning. Often these urges cause you to leak urine before you can make it to the restroom.
What Causes Incontinence?
Incontinence is a symptom, not a “disease” in itself. It can be caused by many different conditions, including:
- Previous surgery to the bladder or vagina in women
- Previous surgery to the bladder or prostate in men
- Stretchedand weakened pelvic muscles after childbirth
- Side effects of certain medications
- Diabetes melitus
- Neurologic illness such as stroke, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis
Learn more about incontinence:
To learn more about incontinence treatments at Houston Methodist Urology Services or to make an appointment, please call us at 713-790-3333.