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Bladder Control

If you or someone you know struggles with urinary leakage (urinary incontinence), you are not alone:

  • Bladder control problems affect 30 to 50% of women.
  • Although the rates go up with age, urinary leakage among young women is common.
  • Though common, urinary incontinence is NOT “normal” at any age.

Urine leakage (urinary incontinence) is a medical issue and can be categorized into different types:

  • Loss of urine that occurs at the same time as physical activities that increase abdominal pressure such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, and exercising (stress incontinence).
  • Inability to hold urine long enough to reach the restroom (urinary urge incontinence).
  • Frequent urination - more than seven times a day (urge frequency).
  • Urinating at night (nocturia).
  • A combination of stress and urge incontinence (mixed urinary incontinence).


Am I at Risk?

Certain events or conditions may make a woman more likely to experience urinary incontinence. Sometimes, very clear-cut events such as pregnancy, vaginal delivery, surgery, radiation or accidental injury can lead to urinary incontinence. Other times, causes may be much less well-defined. And, in many cases, there is no obvious underlying reason for why bladder control problems occur.


Some women are born with a weaker pelvic floor. If your mother or sister have bladder control problems, you are at increased risk.

Health Issues

Some medicines, such as diuretics, put you at greater risk for urinary incontinence. Also, certain health conditions increase your chances of developing incontinence:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Obesity
  • Lung conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Kidney or bladder conditions