Incontinence is a medical condition resulting in the uncontrollable leakage of urine, also known as an overactive bladder. This leakage can happen because of a strong urge to urinate and an inability to prevent urination. Individuals who suffer from this condition have found that an overactive bladder can cause problems during the day or night. Leakage can even occur immediately after urination and is often an embarrassing surprise when it happens.
Needless to say, when a person experiences urinary incontinence, it is not necessarily because his or her bladder is full. Doctors often find that even a small amount of urine in the bladder can result in an urge to urinate. Men and women both experience incontinence, so it is not a gender specific condition.
There is no single cause of an overactive bladder. It could simply be the rate of fluid intake or it could be the complication of a more serious medical issue. In some cases, the primary cause may be a weakening of the muscles that contract within the bladder when it is filled with urine. The most common primary cause is aging.
Although incontinence is generally mild and easily treatable, as with a urinary tract infection, it is important to have a physical exam to rule out other possible conditions. For example, incontinence is one of the first signs of the neurological disorders of Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease. Determining the cause is important for protecting your long term health and deciding which overactive bladder treatment is best for you. A doctor may prescribe a treatment that will lessen the occurrence of bladder leakage over time.