Female urinary incontinence is the inability to prevent urine leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, walking, sitting, and/or standing. This disorder can result from a deformity or damage to the urethra and bladder, and from decreased muscle tone caused by multiple births or menopause. 17-25 million Americans are affected by this disorder, 85% of whom are women. Treatment may vary from pelvic floor training to medication or surgery. The best option for you depends on many factors, including the type of incontinence you have and your age.
To help your doctor make the best diagnosis, do the following before scheduling an appointment:
- Pay special attention to:
- Frequency of urination
- How often you have uncontrollable urges to urinate
- The amount of leakage
- The amount and type of fluids you consume
- Keep a diary of:
- when and how much you eat and drink
- when you feel the urge to urinate
- when and how much you urinate, and
- when and how much you leak and what you are doing at the time.