Bladder Control Problems

    If you or someone you know is affected by loss of bladder control, you are not alone. This condition affects men and women, although it is nearly twice as common in women. Urinary incontinence affects 30 to 50% of women; although the rates go up with age, incontinence among young women is common. Though common, urinary incontinence is not considered “normal” at any age.  

    Many women who have these kinds of bladder control problems are reluctant to discuss them with anyone, or are embarrassed to acknowledge that they have a problem, even to themselves. Sometimes women are made to feel that these conditions are a normal part of aging,  and that, since bladder control problems are rarely life-threatening, they are not really a problem. These points of view are often shared among family and friends, or even among some healthcare providers.

    But the truth of the matter is that urinary incontinence can have a very significant impact. We know that it can undermine your sense of well-being and self-worth, and your ability to live your life the way you want. Scientific studies indicate that quality of life measures significantly decrease when a woman experiences these kinds of bladder control problems. After experiencing these problems, women may begin to stop exercising or participating in physical or social activities, which can further reduce health and quality of life. Work activities, travel and intimacy also may suffer as a result.

    There is no reason to allow this to continue. The good news is that 80 to 90 % of women who seek treatment will experience significant improvement. A wide array of treatment options, ranging from behavioral and diet changes all the way to surgical options exist, and are used every day to help women recover parts of their lives they may have let go. Get evaluated and review treatment options appropriate for your urinary incontinence. The more you know, the more confident you will be in choosing the direction of treatment.


    Original publication date: May 2008; Content updated: June 2013

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