Causes of Incontinence and Prolapse

Patient undergoing diagnosis for incontinenceUrinary incontinence can affect women of any age, and can be caused by many physical conditions. Diagnosing the specific form of incontinence is important to identifying the appropriate treatment for you. Many causes of incontinence are temporary and can be managed with simple treatment. Some causes of temporary incontinence are:

  • Obesity
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Constipation
  • Effects of medication

In addition, incontinence can be caused by other conditions that are not temporary. Women who have experienced childbirth or who are going through menopause are at risk. Other causes include:

Regardless of the cause of the condition, its effects can be significantly reduced, even eliminated, with appropriate treatment.

When to See a Doctor for Incontinence

You may benefit from medical treatment if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Leakage of urine causing embarrassment or preventing activities
  • Leakage of urine which began or continued after an operation (hysterectomy, caesarian section)
  • Blood in urine
  • Inability to urinate
  • Urinating more frequently than usual without a proven bladder infection
  • Needing to rush to the bathroom and/or losing urine if you do not "arrive in time"
  • Pain related to filling the bladder and/or pain related to urination (in the absences of a bladder inflection)
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Progressive weakness of the urinary stream with or without a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • Abnormal urination or changes in urination related to a nervous system abnormality (i.e. stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, etc).


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