What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

The bladder is a hollow organ that holds urine and moves it into the tube-shaped urethra. Urine also passes out of the body through this tube.

When the bladder and urethra muscles work properly, they tighten and push urine through the urethra. When they relax or don't work as well, urine can leak.

Stress Incontinence

If you've ever sneezed, coughed, laughed or exercised and thought it was going to wet your pants, you may have experienced stress urinary incontinence. This happens when pressure on the bladder and urethra causes the sphincter muscle to briefly open and allow urine to leak out.

This condition can range from a few drops of urine to enough to soak through your clothes. It's a common bladder problem in women, but it occurs less often in men.

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition where the nerves that tell your brain to empty your bladder send faulty signals. These cause the bladder muscles to contract too often, creating an urgent need to urinate.

OAB can affect your quality of life in many ways. It can interfere with work, sleep, exercise, social activities and sex.

A doctor will do a series of tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. They include a urinalysis and pelvic exam.


Infections are a very common cause of urinary incontinence. They happen when bacteria get into your body, usually through a contaminated person or object.

Symptoms include coughing, fever, sneezing, diarrhea and other problems. Bacteria infect the skin, lungs, digestive tract (GI), blood, heart and brain, causing illness.

Getting rid of harmful bacteria in your body is the main way your immune system fights infection. But infections can also be caused by other things, like a tumor in your bladder or urinary tract, nerve damage or even an underlying health condition.


Obesity is a chronic condition that causes extra fat to build up in the body. It can affect your health in many ways and can be a serious problem for women and men.

When you're overweight, your muscles in your bladder and urethra weaken. This makes it more likely for urine to leak out when you cough or sneeze.

Obesity is a big issue in the United States, but it's also increasing worldwide. It's partly due to the way we eat and the environment in which we live, learn, work, and play.


Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of them is urinary incontinence, which can be an issue for many women during pregnancy.

During early pregnancy, hormone levels increase and loosen your pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to stress incontinence.

It is also common for your uterus to expand during pregnancy, placing pressure on the bladder and urethra. This pressure can cause urine leakage during the day or night.


The body is designed to give birth through a series of contractions, which cause the upper portion of the uterus to tighten and thicken while the cervix narrows to allow the baby to pass through.

When a woman gives birth, her pelvic muscles are weakened, and this can affect the way her bladder works. Urine leaks out, especially when she coughs, sneezes, laughs, exercises or lifts something.

Injured nerves in the pelvic floor and rectum can also cause urinary incontinence. This happens when the nerves are damaged and fail to send signals to the bladder, rectum and pelvic floor muscles.


As a woman gets older, she may have issues with her bladder control. This can happen because of age-related changes in the lining of your bladder and urethra.

Women may also experience incontinence as a result of medical conditions or surgery, such as menopause, childbirth, osteoporosis or prostate cancer.

During menopause, a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs, which causes her periods to start less often and eventually end. A hysterectomy (surgical removal of both ovaries) or breast cancer treatment can cause menopause, as can certain autoimmune disorders and genetic diseases.


Solutions For Incontinence

Incontinence is the loss of control of your bladder, resulting in urine leakage. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help you manage your incontinence. Often, it can be cured or greatly reduced with a combination of lifestyle changes, treatment options and absorbent products.

Managing your urinary system is important for your overall health and well-being. You may also want to learn about the symptoms and signs of incontinence so you can recognize them and seek treatment as soon as possible.

If you have a medical condition that affects your bladder, such as diabetes or a spinal cord injury, your doctor may recommend a medication called Mirabegron to increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold. This medication works by relaxing the muscles in your bladder so you can empty it better. It may be helpful for people who have stress incontinence, which is when you leak when you sneeze, laugh or exercise.

Aside from medicine, your doctor might suggest certain behavioral methods and exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These can be done by you or by a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist. Pelvic floor therapy can be very effective in treating stress incontinence and urge incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.

Maintaining a healthy weight is another important factor in maintaining good bladder function. By eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise, you can reduce your risk of urinary incontinence.

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is another helpful strategy for controlling your bladder. You should limit these beverages to special occasions and avoid drinking them in large quantities throughout the day, if possible.

Taking regular bathroom breaks can also help. Plan to urinate every two hours or so during the day, as well as immediately after meals and just before bedtime.

Make sure you have a clean, private place to use the restroom in your home or apartment. It is important to have a toilet that is easy to get on and off, with plenty of room for moving around. Consider installing grab bars on the side of the toilet or a portable commode or urinal in your bedroom.

Keep your hallways and bathrooms clear of clutter and wastebaskets. Install night lights to illuminate the bathroom and bedrooms.

Be sure to use protective incontinence underwear  whenever you are going out for long periods of time, especially in public. These types of undergarments are made to be easy to put on and remove, and they often contain absorbent materials that catch any urine that leaks during the day.

Stealthies incontinence underwear is unique in the sense that they are not only  comfortable, absorbent and affordable... but the are Stealthy! No one will ever know you're wearing them.

You can also protect from leaks with reusable bed pads. By using reusable bed pads you will save hundreds of dollars per year as opposed to disposable bed. Bed pads are great for protecting beds and furniture from leakage. 

Choosing the right size for your briefs is also important. If you are not wearing the correct size, the briefs may sag, causing leaks.

The best briefs for your individual needs should be able to keep your skin dry and smell clean. If the briefs you wear don't have these qualities, talk to your healthcare provider about finding a new one that does.