What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a condition in which a person unintentionally
leaks urine. She may uncontrollably urinate when she laughs, coughs, or exercises.
Or she may find she cannot wait to reach the bathroom. These problems, which
may be temporary or permanent, can be caused by a number of conditions, including
urinary tract infections, bladder weakness, or a blocked urethra (the canal
that transports urine from the bladder).
Is urinary incontinence common?
Yes, it is very common, especially among women. Seventeen million
people in the United States experience incontinence at some
point in their lives, and approximately 10% to 30% of women between
the ages of 15 and
64 have this problem. That number may be even higher, since
many women with incontinence are too embarrassed to seek treatment.
Does urinary incontinence affect only elderly women?
Bladder control problems are not a natural part of the aging process
and can affect women of all ages.
Is all urinary incontinence the same?
No, there are several different types of this condition:
•Stress incontinence: Women with stress incontinence may leak urine
when they exercise, cough, sneeze, laugh, lift, or put pressure on their
abdomen. This often is due to weakness in pelvic floor muscles and may be
caused by childbirth or pelvic surgery.
•Urge incontinence: This condition, sometimes referred to as "overactive
bladder," is the most common form of incontinence. It may cause women
to lose urine as soon as they drink a small amount of liquid or
have the urge to go to the bathroom. It also may result in frequent urination
half hour, for example) or bedwetting.
•Mixed incontinence: Patients with this condition suffer from both
stress and urge incontinence.
•Overflow incontinence: Women with overflow
incontinence may feel like they never completely empty their bladder. Some
only a small amount of urine and feel like their bladder is still
full. Others may feel
as if they have to empty their bladders but can't.
•Functional incontinence: Women with functional
incontinence cannot get to the toilet or use a bedpan in time to
urinate. The urinary system works, but physical or mental disabilities prevent normal bathroom use.
incontinence: This is temporary incontinence that occurs due
to certain conditions, including urinary tract infections, the
use of some medications, and restricted mobility.
What is Vaginal Vault Prolapse?
Vaginal vault prolapse is a complex condition
resulting from the loss of support of the pelvic organs and may present itself
in a variety of ways. In its most severe presentation, the entire
vagina may evert
and be located completely outside of the pelvis and present itself as a large
mass protruding out of the vaginal opening. It is a progressive
occurs over a period of time and will present itself with symptoms related
to a specific site of prolapse. Pelvic support defect symptoms
are due to alterations
in function of the bowel and the ability to defecate, to urinate satisfactorily,
and sexual function. There is also a psychological component.
One of the more
common complaints is urinary incontinence. An equally common complaint, but
frequently one that is not discussed is anal incontinence, the
ability to control gas or
stool. One's sexual dysfunction becomes a problem because of the presence of
a mass, pain with intercourse, difficulty with penetration because
of a tissue mass
protruding outside of the introitus or anxiety because of the physical appearance
of a mass in the vaginal opening. All of these symptoms may be
although they usually are slowly and inexorably progressive in severity with
the passage of time.