What You Need to Know about Urinary Incontinence By: Dr. Kimball Huang

Live well photoAccording to the Urology Care Foundation, a quarter to one-third of men and women in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence, presenting serious challenges to a large segment of the population. Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, and its symptoms range in severity. While age is a factor, obese individuals, men with prostate issues and women who have given birth are at a greater risk of developing urinary incontinence[1].

Signs of urinary incontinence include occasional leakage whenever you cough or sneeze, in addition to having sudden and powerful urges to urinate that are so strong that you can’t get to the bathroom in time[2]. It can also be an indicator of bladder cancer, and with July being National Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, this is an opportune time to discuss the condition.

There are three main types of urinary incontinence: urge, overflow and stress. Urge incontinence occurs when you have a strong need to urinate and cannot get to the bathroom before leakage occurs. Causes of urge incontinence include bladder infections and neurological issues such as stroke and dementia. Overflow incontinence happens when a bladder is so full that it leaks urine, while stress incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscles, which normally hold urine in the bladder, weaken and release urine[3].

Urinary incontinence can be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as kidney stones, a urinary tract infection, enlarged prostate or constipation[4]. Since many sufferers are embarrassed to talk about this problem, larger health issues can go undiagnosed. Therefore, it is important to discuss any instance of incontinence with your HealthCare Partners Nevada provider.

During your visit, your provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your daily habits, including what you typically eat and drink, and any medications or supplements you take. When visiting your doctor, he or she will also ask you which type of incontinence you are experiencing and how long you have experienced symptoms.

Urinary incontinence can be effectively managed or treated, so it is imperative to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice symptoms. There are many treatments and medications available to manage urinary incontinence, so please remember to talk to your HealthCare Partners Nevada provider to discuss your treatment plan. For more information about the services HealthCare Partners Nevada offers, please visit www.hcpnv.com.




[1] Urology Care Foundation, 2015, “What is Urinary Incontinence?”

[2] Mayo Clinic, Aug. 7, 2014, “Diseases and Conditions: Urinary Incontinence.”

[3] University of Rochester Medical Center, 2015, “Urinary Incontinence.”

[4] Mayo Clinic, Aug. 7, 2014, “Diseases and Conditions: Urinary Incontinence.”