Q

Urinary Incontinence

What causes urinary incontinence?

A Answers (5)

  • The interplay necessary between the brain, nervous system, bladder, sphincters and pelvic floor muscles in order to control bladder function is very complex. When any component of the system controlling bladder function loses normal function, urinary control can be affected. Neural injury, damage to the bladder, sphincters, supporting structures and even the pelvic floor can all lead to incontinence. Age, surgery, childbirth or related illness can contribute toward incontinence, as well.

    The symptoms of urinary incontinence may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

  • A answered
    Urinary incontinence can be caused by many different medical problems, including side effects of medications, constipation, obesity, urinary-tract infections, circulatory disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, stroke and gait problems. Men often experience symptoms from an enlarged prostate gland or as a complication of prostate surgery. Women often have symptoms from weakened or stretched pelvic muscles after childbirth or thinning and drying of the vaginal walls or urethra after menopause.
  • A , Gynecology, answered
    Dr. Lauren Streicher - What causes urinary incontinence?

    There are two kinds of urinary incontinence, each with a different cause, says obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher. Learn what they are by watching this video.


  • Urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, from lifestyle habits to serious medical issues. Alcohol, caffeine, and medications can all cause temporary incontinence. In other cases, being either dehydrated (which can cause bladder irritation) or overhydrated (which leads to too much urine) can also cause urinary incontinence. Urinary tract infections, constipation, pregnancy, a hysterectomy, aging, prostate or bladder issues, and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease, are just some of the other causes of urinary incontinence.

  • A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    Urinary incontinence has many causes. Urinary incontinence that comes on suddenly may be caused by an infection or irritant in the bladder. Urinary incontinence that happens when you laugh, sneeze, or cough (also called "stress incontinence") is typically caused by vaginal delivery. Urinary incontinence that happens because you cannot make it to the bathroom in time (also called "urge incontinence') can happen because you have lost control over your bladder from menopause, because your bladder is too full, or from other bladder irritants. 

    If urinary incontinence becomes a problem, the first step is to write down when it happens. If it only happens during sleep, the treatment could be as simple as limiting your nighttime liquid intake!

This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Do I have urinary incontinence if I urinate when I sneeze or cough?