Urinary Incontinence | Overview

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What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. This means that you can't always control when you urinate. Urinary incontinence can range from leaking a small amount of urine (such as when coughing or laughing) to having very strong urges to urinate that are difficult to control. This can be embarrassing, but talk to your doctor about it. It can be treated.

Millions of adults in the United States have urinary incontinence. It's most common in people older than 50 years of age, especially women. But it can also affect younger people, especially women who have just given birth.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have this problem. If you hide your incontinence, you risk getting rashes, sores, skin infections and urinary tract infections. Also, you may find yourself avoiding friends and family because of fear and embarrassment.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 01/00

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