The Commonality of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence describes an inability to control the bladder. This is a fairly common condition and can also be very embarrassing. While this condition can range from mild to severe, it can limit your willingness to be social, leave the house or take part in activities you love. Don’t let this chronic condition control your life. If you suffer from incontinence, talk to your doctor about treatments that could help you to achieve freedom from having an overactive bladder.

Possible causes of an overactive bladder include constipation or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Being pregnant and giving birth can also contribute to urinary incontinence, as can the natural aging process. If you have had a hysterectomy, disruption of the surrounding pelvic floor muscles may also contribute to reduced bladder control.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

An overactive bladder can take many different forms:

  • Urge incontinence – loss of urine right after a sudden, intense urge to urinate; most often caused by UTIs or neurological disorders
  • Stress incontinence – loss of bladder control when coughing, sneezing, laughing or otherwise exerting stress on the bladder
  • Mixed incontinence – a combination of stress and urge incontinence and is more common as one ages. It consists of a combination of the symptoms described above. 
  • Total incontinence – persistent leaking of urine during the day and night
  • Overactive bladder (OAB) – includes strong feelings of urgency and frequent trips to the bathroom. It is caused by "overactivity" or uncontrollable contractions of the bladder muscle. 
  • Nocturia – a common and disruptive condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to urinate. OAB can be defined in terms of the number of times a day you have to go to the bathroom. It is often eight or more times in a 24-hour period, including two or three times at night. 

Diagnosis and Treatment of Urinary Incontinence at BayCare

Blood tests and urine tests (urinalysis) are the most common forms of diagnostic testing for urinary infections. After confirming there is no evidence of infection, urodynamic testing, uroflowmetry testing, a pelvic ultrasound, cystometric study or a cystoscopy may be recommended if your doctor feels further information is needed to establish and confirm a diagnosis of serious urinary conditions. In severe cases, surgical treatments such as bladder suspension, urethral sling, or robotically-assisted bladder repair may be necessary to treat bladder conditions. The Urodynamic Center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital specializes in diagnosis of urinary incontinence conditions in women and men.

BayCare also offers patients several conservative, noninvasive therapies and pelvic floor rehabilitation through our Pelvic Health and Wellness program

Urologists at BayCare

BayCare offers treatment for urological conditions such as urinary incontinence to patients throughout the Tampa Bay area and west central Florida. Find a urologist near you or call (855) 245-7765 for a physician referral.