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Urinary incontinence is leaking of urine that you can't control. Many American men and women suffer from urinary incontinence. We don't know for sure exactly how many. That's because many people do not tell anyone about their symptoms. They may be embarrassed, or they may think nothing can be done. So they suffer in silence.
Urinary incontinence is not just a medical problem. It can affect emotional, psychological and social life. Many people who have urinary incontinence are afraid to do normal daily activities. They don't want to be too far from a toilet. Urinary incontinence can keep people from enjoying life.
Urinary incontinence is not a disease. It is a symptom of many conditions. Causes may differ for men and women. But it is not hereditary and it is not just a normal part of aging. These are the four types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) - One of the most common types of urinary incontinence. With SUI, weak pelvic muscles let urine escape. It is common in older women and less common in men.
- Overactive Bladder (OAB) - Another common type of urinary incontinence that is also called "urgency" incontinence. OAB affects more than 30% of men and 40% of women in the U.S.
- Mixed Incontinence (SUI and OAB) - Occurs with people that leak urine with activity (SUI) and often feel the urge to urinate (OAB).
- Overflow Incontinence - With overflow incontinence, the body makes more urine than the bladder can hold or the bladder is full and cannot empty thereby causing it to leak urine. This type of urinary incontinences is rare in women. It is more common in men who have prostate problems or have had prostate surgery.