Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the release of urine. It may be related to infection, problems with the nerves and muscles of the bladder, physical or mental disabilities, or problems with the structure of the urinary tract.

Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but it may indicate a problem with the urinary tract, such as a urinary tract infection.

Incontinence may occur for only a short time (acute) or it may be an ongoing (chronic) problem. Generally, incontinence usually clears up when the underlying problem, such as a urinary tract infection, is treated successfully. Depending on the cause, treatment may cure chronic incontinence. If the condition cannot be completely cured, it usually can be managed to limit its effect on a person's daily life.

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology

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