Incontinence Of Urine
Incontinence of urine is the inability to control the outflow of urine so that wetting of clothing or bedding occurs. It is a problem that affects women far more than men. Repeated urinary infections may be the cause or the result as a complication.
It is more common in babies than in women than men.
In babies, incontinence is due to a weak sphincter muscle (the muscle that controls the opening of urethra). As they grow the muscle becomes strong.
In women, there is normally an acute angle between the bladder and the opening into the urethra (tube leading to the outside) – see diagram below. If this angle is reduced for any reason, the woman will become more prone to urinary incontinence.
X-rays and/or ultrasound of the bladder and kidneys, and cystoscopy (looking into the bladder through a thin tube) can be used to investigate the cause of the incontinence. Incontinence is not a disease but a symptom, and the responsible disease needs to be diagnosed before any treatment can start.
Medications may be useful in some patients.