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What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary leakage of urine. It is very common and often distressing, the result of which may have a profound impact on a person's quality of life. Urinary incontinence almost always results from an underlying and treatable medical condition.

Up to 35% of the total population over the age of 60 years is estimated to be incontinent. Women are twice as likely as men to experience incontinence. While bladder issues are most prevalent among older women, it affects men, as well.

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Causes

Women usually require incontinence intervention because of changes and stresses on structures related to pregnancy, bladder issues and aging.

Incontinence in men is often because of bladder or prostate gland issues and aging.

There are also neurological related causes in patients of all ages. Sometimes there are "lifestyle" issues which can be corrected, such as weight, medications, diet and others.

Research suggests that 80% of patients with incontinence can be helped, and Urodynamic testing is a major tool in determining how to best help the patient. The test results are interpreted by the Urologist.

Types

Stress Incontinence
Leakage while coughing, laughing, exercising, lifting, etc.

Urge Incontinence
An "overactive bladder." Patient has a strong sudden urge to void (during sleep, while drinking water, hearing running water, etc.) and the patient may experience leakage.

Functional incontinence
When a person recognizes the need to urinate, but cannot physically make it to the bathroom in time due to limited mobility.

Mixed incontinence
Two or more types together, usually stress and urge.

How Mercy Can Help

Mercy offers assessment and testing to determine causes for incontinence. With results from this testing, a treatment plan can be developed and implemented by your physician, which may include a number of treatments including education, physical therapy or in some cases, surgery.

Mercy's Urodynamic Study examines and documents the functional capacity and factors involved with filling, storage, transportation, and evacuation of urine. It is an assessment of lower urinary tract function that measures pressure in the bladder and the flow of urine.  Mercy offers the only video urodynamic study in the area - for more enhanced imaging.

Other imaging services or blood tests may also help identify the most appropriate course of treatment.

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