Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Babies are incontinent until their nervous systems mature and they learn to control their urine flow. Incontinence can occur to males and females, old and young. It can be mild or severe. It usually can be treated. There are several different categories of incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence and total incontinence.
Causes of Incontinence involve several different components: the pressure in the bladder, the nerves that activate and relax the bladder and the sphincter, (valve), muscles, and the sphincters themselves. Dysfunction at one or several of the points results in the different types of incontinence.
Stress Incontinence occurs associated with raising the pressure inside the abdomen by coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining or lifting, sudden movements. It is very common in women, and sometimes occurs in men after prostate surgery. Stress incontinence is caused by a decrease or loss in the sphincter, or control valve in the urethra and bladder neck.
Urge Incontinence is present when there are sudden urges to urinate that the patient cannot control, the "mad dash syndrome". It can be related to changes in position, such as standing up, which is known as orthostatic instability, or initiated by a cough or sneeze or other movement, but different from stress incontinence in that there is not a sudden gush of urine, but a sudden urge to go. It may come on without any provocation. A frequent cause of urge incontinence is changes in the nerves activating the urinary tract, as seen in the elderly, persons with strokes, or spinal injuries or other neurological conditions. It may be associated with a " fallen bladder" in females, or occur without association to any other problem.
Mixed Incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence, and is usually caused by a combination of factors.
Total Incontinence is the continuous total loss of urine. There are many causes including holes in the bladder or pelvic scarring due to surgery, radiation or disease, or nerve damage from injury, disease or stroke.
Werner - Francis Urology Associates
Greenbelt - Bowie - Laurel Maryland
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7500 Hanover Parkway Suite 206 Greenbelt, MD 20770