Urinary incontinence — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having sudden, unpredictable episodes of strong urinary urgency. Sometimes, the urgency may be so strong you don’t get to the bathroom in time.
Although urinary incontinence affects millions of people, it isn’t a normal part of aging or, in women, an inevitable consequence of childbirth or changes after menopause. It’s a medical condition with many possible causes, some relatively simple and self-limited and others more complex.
If you’re having enough trouble with bladder control that it affects your day-to-day activities, don’t hesitate to see your doctor. In many situations, urinary incontinence can be stopped. Even if the condition can’t be completely eliminated, modern products and ways of managing urinary incontinence can ease your discomfort and inconvenience.