Urinary incontinence or urine leakage is the most common urinary disorder people experience when it comes to their bladder. The most common types of urinary incontinence that affect women are:
Regardless of the type of urinary incontinence, it is not a normal part of aging and it can be treated. Sudden onset of incontinence, or urine leakage, should always warrant a trip to the doctor, to be evaluated for causes such as urinary tract infection, incomplete bladder emptying, and neurologic problems. However, most incontinence is straight forward and does not impose immediate danger to your overall health. Despite the absence of immediate danger, however, incontinence can cause significant impact on quality of life and can also impact health in indirect ways.
For example, women with incontinence may be less likely to exercise or go out with friends due to fear of leakage. This can cause impaired overall physical and emotional health. Women with overactive bladder or nocturia (waking up at night to pee) can be at higher risk of falls and injuries. In addition, if appropriate pads or incontinence protective garments are not used, there can be damage to the skin around the genitals and buttocks, which can lead to infection.
Because of the emotional, physical, and overall severe impacts on quality of life, incontinence should not be left untreated. There are many ways to treat incontinence, both surgical and nonsurgical, and treatment of incontinence can improve overall quality of life.
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