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Types of urinary incontinence and why it happens

Incontinence is leakage of urine from the bladder. It can happen to anyone at any age, but is more common in women. The idea that it affects only the elderly is not really true as pregnant women and active women who participate in sports, such as jogging, are starting to notice the problem. 

What type of incontinence do you have?

There are two main types of incontinence:

  • stress incontinence (leakage of urine when you cough, laugh, bend over or exercise)
  • urge incontinence with overactive bladder (the sudden urge to pass urine, and maybe not reaching the toilet in time).

Many women have both types together and this is called mixed incontinence. Look at the box below to see what type you have. About 1 in 4 women with urinary incontinence also have faecal incontinence (Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2002;100:17–23).

Another type of incontinence that can happen in men is called ‘overflow incontinence’. This is caused by a blockage of the urethra (e.g. because of a large prostate), which prevents the person from urinating. Symptoms include:

  • interrupted urinary flow (start and stop urinating)
  • dribbling after urination
  • continual leakage of small amounts of urine.
Types of urinary incontinence
Questions to ask yourself Stress incontinence Overactive bladder and urge incontinence Mixed incontinence
Do you go to the toilet to pass urine more than 8 times a day? No Yes Sometimes
Do you go to the toilet to pass urine more than once during the night? Not usually Most nights Most nights
Do you ever have to hurry to reach the toilet in time (for urine)? No Yes Yes
Do you ever not reach the toilet in time (for urine)? No Often Often
Do you ever leak urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough, run or jump? Always No Always
If you leak urine, is it just a drop or is it sometimes quite a bit more? Small Large (usually) Large
Are you able to hold your urine alright, but you need to pass it more than 8 times a day, in small or large amounts each time? See your doctor, because you might have a urine infection (small amounts) or diabetes (large amounts and you are thirsty).    

Reasons for stress incontinence

Leakage of urine when you cough, laugh or bend over, or with exercise such as jumping or jogging, is called stress incontinence. It is most common in young women (25–49 years of age). It occurs if the sphincter muscles are not strong enough to hold the urine in when the pressure in the abdomen increases (as happens when you laugh or cough). No one knows exactly why these muscles may become weak; some women notice the problem after childbirth or during or after menopause. Women with stress incontinence often have leakage of urine during sex, usually at penetration (when the penis enters).

Genes are now thought to be a very important cause of stress incontinence, which explains why this type of incontinence tends to run in families (Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005; 106: 125–38). Because of their genes, some women are born with a weak pelvic floor. It is probably a weakness of collagen, the tiny strengthening fibers of muscles.

Obesity. Being overweight is a major cause of incontinence. It puts stress on the pelvic floor muscles, so if you are obese you double the chance of pelvic floor weakness (New England Journal of Medicine 2009;360(5):481–90).

Childbirth is probably an important cause of stress incontinence. The actual birth is mostly responsible, not just the pregnancy (Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 2010;89(12):1511–22). Women who have had Caesarean sections may not develop incontinence. The nerves can be stretched and bruised during a natural delivery through the vagina, and they are then unable to make the pelvic floor work after the birth. As a result, the muscles become lazy and weak.

Hysterectomy. A woman who has had a hysterectomy is more likely to develop incontinence in middle age than a woman who has not had the operation.

Menopause may be another reason, perhaps because the lowering levels of estrogen make the pelvic floor muscles less efficient. However, recent research shows that although the likelihood of incontinence increases in middle-age, the hormone changes of the menopause may not be the main cause. It could be that middle-aged women are more likely to be overweight and to have had a gynecologic operation, such as a hysterectomy.

High-impact sports, such as jogging on hard pavements, are probably not good for the pelvic floor. Sports such as swimming and cycling are fine. Interestingly, women parachutists in the US Air Force have developed incontinence because the impact of landing has damaged their pelvic floor.

Lifting heavy objects strains the pelvic floor. If you have to lift anything heavy (such as a baby or small child!), get into the habit of doing it in the right way. Place your feet firmly apart in the walking position, and bend at the knees and hip but keep your back straight. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the heavy object close to you and then lift by straightening your legs.

Smoking 20 cigarettes/day (now or in the past) doubles your likelihood of urinary incontinence: another reason for never smoking.

Drugs can relax the pelvic floor around the ring of muscles at the neck of the bladder, making leakage more likely. The most common culprits are some blood pressure medications, particularly alpha-blockers such as prazosin and doxazosin, which are also prescribed to men who have a large prostate. If your incontinence problem seems to be related to starting treatment for blood pressure and you are a man, ask your doctor if you are taking an alpha-blocker. Other medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and muscle-relaxant drugs, can also promote urine leakage. 

Reasons for urge incontinence and overactive bladder

The sudden need to pass urine desperately, and maybe not being able to reach the toilet in time, is a slightly different sort of incontinence called urge incontinence and overactive bladder. The cause is the bladder muscle; it starts to contract when it should be stretching to hold more urine. This is called an overactive or irritable bladder (the medical term is detrusor overactivity, because the bladder muscle is called the detrusor muscle). People with urge incontinence have to pass urine often (probably more than eight times a day and also during the night), but may not pass much each time. Women with urge incontinence often have leakage of urine during sex, usually at orgasm. 

Reasons for mixed incontinence

Some people with incontinence have both stress incontinence and an overactive bladder. The ‘stress’ symptoms may be more prominent than the ‘urge’ symptoms, or vice versa.

Written by: Diane Newman
Edited by: Diane Newman
Last updated: Wednesday, February 1st 2012


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Comments on this article

Posted by WHY? on 18/04/2017 at 05:11

I get the urge to pee and try and make it to the bathroom on time but it doesnt happen it just comes out it happends often to and i match most of the symtons of urge incontinent but i only get upsometimes at night n it comesout before i can getto thebathroom

Posted by Optional on 15/04/2017 at 06:18

Two months ago i have been wanting to wee about 6 time at nigth and in the morning.

Posted by Page on 17/03/2017 at 11:43

If I sit down for an extended time, when I get up, I get an urge to go to the bathroom, but cannot hold my urine for more than a few seconds before peeing myself. If I am in my car( I usually carry a paper) and I get an urge to pee I have to pull over to relieve myself. If go to the bank, grocery store or any place, once I get that urge to I have about 5 seconds to find a bathroom before peeing on myself. Usually, when I have a slight urge to pee, I may able to hold it for one minute but must find a bathroom during that time. I have different supplement as one prescription drug but do not help. If you have this problem and have found relief, please help.

Posted by Optional on 16/03/2017 at 02:15

I have stress incontinence i dont know what to do, i am just so embarrased. i cant tell anybody about it, i got my period last year, and i usually see stinky liquid like glue on my underwear. Please tell me what to do. Thanks

Posted by Optional on 28/02/2017 at 08:43

i'm male and 26 years old. I have been suffering from minor stress incontinence almost all my life, but lately I seem to have progressed to losing large volumes of urine over the past year. I've been doing my best to hide it but the daytime accidents keep happening all the time! Could this be tied to my diagnosis of High Functioning Autism? or is it something worse?

Posted by Optional on 09/01/2017 at 07:04

When going to toilet for a wee I find when I've finished I'm getting my pants wet when I've finished what is this is it a big problem

Posted by Optional on 02/12/2016 at 09:03

After going to the toilet I still leak. I am wondering what could be wrong?

Posted by Why! on 07/10/2016 at 12:14

I pee myself a lot more than I should and my symptoms all match urge incontinent except I don't get up at night to pee

Posted by Optional on 28/09/2016 at 10:37

I've been noticing this recently that I've been leaking and it only seems to happen when I'm sitting down, when I didn't use the shave I didn't have this problem and since I do know I noticed that this has been happening for a couple of weeks, I've never had sexual intercouse, I don't know if many shaving would be the issue but I don't see how it could be either, so if someone could help me out that would be nice.

Posted by embarrassed on 27/08/2016 at 11:28

25 years old but have struggled with wet knickers for a few years. So confused about the cause :( know there is an element of stress incontinence but don't know if discharge and sweating are also playing a role. Very private person so find it all quite distressing :'(

Posted by Optional on 22/08/2016 at 09:56

I started have symptoms when I started a new relationship, first I thought it was UTI.and the doctor asked me to take HIPREX that worked for a while and then it didn't, I have the urge to pee all the time but its more than a few drops but less than a full load.I can feel like this foe about 1-2 hours and then I would be fine for the rest of the day. But I get so paranoid I always wear a super pad so I don't need to rush to the toilet all the time.I find it worse when in cold weather. Some one help me!

Posted by Optional on 15/08/2016 at 07:56

Just recently it has become hard for me to hold my urine, I'm going close to 8 times a day, it started shortly after I began holding it in for long drives.

Posted by Optional on 12/08/2016 at 07:33

Hi,I am 47 yrs old,and have been experiencing similar problems.For the last 8 days,i have to urinate quite a few times throughout the day and night,i am also experiencing a tingly feeling before I have to go,which can be very irritating,have been well,never had any serious health issues,so I am a bit worried,can someone please help or advice,thanks.

Posted by getting older is not fun on 01/08/2016 at 07:55

several years ago I had a full hysterectomy now lately it seems i am leaking and I am not aware of it. Sometimes all at once it hits me and sometimes i don't make it.Since I had my surgery they had to reconstruct my bladder after the hysterectomy because i had a mass of a size of a baseball. Now i feel I always stink . i clean myself up. but i still think i smell. ugh.

Posted by Optional on 05/01/2016 at 04:12

I am 17 years old. I went to Jumpworld (a place of trampolines and trampoline activities)and I used the restroom before having fun. Well when jumpimg i felt the urge to pee. I used the restroom 4 times within two hours. And im not active on a daily basis. Is this normal? No one knows this except my cousin and i feel embarassed with myself. I cant just jump and have fun without worryig about leaking.

Posted by Optional on 31/12/2015 at 08:27

Thanks for this. I found it really helpful. I often keep thinking that my Incontinence is due to a uti but I don't have pain nor do I keep wanting to go to toilet , the doctor keeps prescribing me Antibiotics but it just comes back. Getting fed up of my pants being wet constantly I do wear pads and I notice it's more worse when I'm stressed or when I either sneeze or cough. I often notice air bubbles too in my urethra . It's horrible I hope there is treatment out there if I go to a doctor again :(

Posted by Optional on 21/12/2015 at 11:21

im only a 16 yr old girl and i leak in class and its extremly embarrasing i make the ecuse that i didnt check my seat before i sat and there was water because it doesnt have a strong smell i also have 7 diffrent medications that im on for lupus and rumetoid arthritus could that have anything to do with it ?

Posted by Leaking problems on 08/12/2015 at 12:51

Have to wear pads all the time can not afford the medicine the doctor prescribed for me is there any thing on the self I can take

Posted by Optional on 28/11/2015 at 05:06

I can't really make it to the bathroom in time to pee. Only a little comes out before I can make it to the bathroom. I run track for my school is that the problem?

Posted by confused gal on 28/11/2015 at 10:09

i dont know what is happening to me i had a sexual intercouse at tuesday and after that i started to urinate myself since thursday so i dont know what is going on so please help

Posted by Optional on 17/11/2015 at 05:00

I'v been strugglin to keep pee. Everytime i cn't seem to reach the bathroom its so embarassing and stressful.

Posted by Optional on 01/11/2015 at 08:40

I had a full hystercomy11 months ago my problem is I itch down there and I more than likely keep leaking on my pants

Posted by umer on 21/10/2015 at 05:40

How I can control drops of urine after urination? Please tell me.I very abset about this problem. Please tell me the solution.

Posted by sabir ansari on 20/10/2015 at 03:30

Hello, m just 27 years old boy and not married.I am very stressed of this,i suffering from from urge incontinence and overactive bladder last 3 years. Please give me any solution, what should I do for this.

Posted by Optional on 19/10/2015 at 03:08

Me and my boyfriend had sex and he sometimes presses on my lower stomache because sometimes when I masturbate on him pressure helps brings a better orgasim could this be the reason I have dripping issues sometimes, onetime I felt swollen and soar from doing it but it went away after a few minutes

Posted by Optional on 18/10/2015 at 04:46

My bladder leaks, about 15 or more times a day, and when the urge comes I can't stop it so I wet my clothes. I'm a diabetic but my A1c is less than 6. What doctor do I need to visit? Also, when I go, I can't do anything with force of peeing.

Posted by Ankita on 03/10/2015 at 09:10

Hii i am a 24 yr girl. The problem started just from 4-5 months back but not able to find the correct solution yet facing kw. I am not able to control my toilet, its starts urgently and sometimes it happen like i am not able to control it. Toilet starts suddenly , sometime pale and less also and painfull too. Plz give some suggestion to cure it.

Posted by Module on 03/10/2015 at 03:23

Yes I go to the toilet more than 8 times Yes I leak urine when laughing or coughing.pls adviceme on what to do is very important

Posted by Optional on 25/09/2015 at 03:33

When I have to pee, I need to!! It's very hard to keep it in and sometimes be sore when I needed to pee for long without making it to the toilet, for like two days last week it hurt peeing but now it doesn't, what is it

Posted by Optional on 24/09/2015 at 09:52

Hi im struggling to control urine after having sex and i struggle to stand its feels like i have to go to the toilet please help

Posted by Optional on 22/09/2015 at 10:35

I can't control my urine , it just happend today , am only 18 , am not over wheight and am scared to go to the doctor , and it's really freaking me out ... HELP plz

Posted by lilly on 15/09/2015 at 03:08

I have only just started wetting myself at night. I am to embarrassed to go to the doctors. And I am due to go to a friends house to stay but don't want to go incase I have a accident

Posted by Kelly on 11/08/2015 at 04:21

I had urine leak after giving birth,with kegel exercise it stoped, but now am sexually active, it came back,but only at night, felt the urge to urinate at waking i started i have started leaking urine,but not every time,only when am stressed down there.

Posted by Crystal on 04/08/2015 at 08:29

I burned year ago right leg and buttocks and close to my kidney and from there eveyting went wrong.Cant hold my pee sometimes blood in urine. Clinic put me on Cholestrol pills and Parmapress and after so many test still nothing. I would get blisters on my legs that start bleeding after some time due to blood curculation. HELP??

Posted by Optional on 02/08/2015 at 06:11

I have been leaking pee and it's embarrassing what can I do

Posted by ScarredMom on 28/06/2015 at 10:30

Cesarean Sections not causing incontinence is CRAP! I have had 7 C-sections and ever since the 5th I've had this humiliating issue (I am 5' & 160 lbs - not thin, but not obese) - I have been operated on by some of the most highly skilled OBs in World - no issue with them - issue is with stress pregnancies put on muscles - I am sure actual childbirth can do it's fair share of damage but the pregnancy & C-Sections can also do damage - C-Sections themselves involve cutting thru multiple layers of flesh, organs & muscles - body can never be same after. I hate this problem - I ignored it for a long time as it is mostly manageable except during stressful times - I kept hoping it was a temporary thing & would resolve itself over time but I can see now that it won't - I'm going to a urologist to seek surgical intervention - no reason living local to some of best hospitals & docs in World & not using them - not to mention my health Insurance Pregnancy & C-Sections were tough - this humiliating issue is cruel - best of luck to everyone - if you are young, do yourself a favor & be evaluated by a urologist - at least be sure of the extent of your issue & what your options are - please listen to someone who wishes she sought help earlier instead of wasting time coping & adjusting my life around this horrible curse! Kudos to the young men brave enough to speak up & share their stories - go see a urologist - there are meds, surgeries & other options (even holistic or acupuncture) that can help Everyone deserves better than to have to suffer the burden & shame of urinary incontinence - have the courage to speak up &I get the help you need

Posted by Optional on 28/06/2015 at 04:30

I'm 21, I noticed whenever i take a contraceptive i don't get to the toilet befor i urinate. But now i had sex and though i didn't use any contraceptive, i can't hold my urine and its unusually hot.

Posted by Optional on 24/06/2015 at 09:40

I'm a 22 year old female, 58kg, 5ft 6 and have suffered Overactive bladder and urge incontinence for about the past year. I feel I'm too young for this, I'm not overweight and I'm not a very active person... I have wet myself during sleep about 4-5 times since this started, it's embarrassing! Most nights I don't need to get up to pee, but some nights I wake up to go 2-3 times. I also get a sudden urge to go and if I cross my legs I CANNOT move until the urge passes or else I will just wet myself. My Dr said 'possible UTI' but it came back fine and he didn't do anymore about it. Any advice/suggestions would be very much appreciated

Posted by Indra on 19/06/2015 at 04:46

Hey i have eakage of urine when cough, laugh or bend over, or with exercise such as jumping or jogging. is there any medicine to stop it. thanks Plz help

Posted by Optional on 13/06/2015 at 09:13

Is there a solution to this problem.what medications can I be on

Posted by Lila on 25/05/2015 at 01:23

Hi. I'm 12 years old, 5ft 3in and I weigh 45 kg (100 pounds. Although I don't wet myself often, I always need to got to the toilet. Whether I have drank a lot of water or a little bit (or even none at all), I have the urge to go to the bathroom. I'm really embarrassed because I've already wet my self over 3 times (which I find is a lot) and I'm only 12. This is especially hard for me because I have lots of exams currently and I'm not allowed to go the the bathroom unless it's and emergency. I recently wet myself in school in front of my friend (who I'm quite close with) and I feel extremely embarrassed to face her and anyone else who saw me wet myself. Any advice?

Posted by Optional on 10/05/2015 at 06:18

I'm 18 and recently noticed that I need the toilet a lot more than usual but when I realise I need the toilet it is sudden and hard to hold it in I have to run to the toilet sometimes it's coming out while I'm trying to get to the toilet and I can't stop it. Also when I'm actually going for a wee and I think it's stopped I stand up but its still coming out and not just drops either but I don't know it's happening.normally every time I have sex I wet myself and even if I go to the toilet before

Posted by Dimple on 23/04/2015 at 02:24

Hi, I think I have both incontinence. I usually pee suddenly when I laugh, jump, or sneez. sometimes it's just while I'm just standing and thinking about something and I'll suddenly pee. (in a small amount sometimes) This is very annoying plus embarrasing at times. I am worried if I have issues with my pelvic floor. Should I go and get checked or what? please give some advice. Thanks

Posted by Optional on 19/04/2015 at 06:32

I wet myself. As of late, I have had to resort to wearing diapers to avoid obvious embarassment. On the downside, they have become sexually arousing.

Posted by Optional on 11/04/2015 at 07:02

I have problem Ruining when I am peeing in the bathroom after I'm done it comes again a tiny bid in again a tiny bid I take shower I finish peeing and then again it comes again a tiny bit its keep coming like 5-6 times when I take shower I use the toilet sitting peeing in its keep coming after stopping each time like 3,4 times

Posted by Fallen on 04/04/2015 at 10:52

I had sex three days ago and hadn't had it in awhile and he was bigger than I had so was sore, but since then I'm extremely soaked and constantly leaking urine. Any ideas why or how to stop it?

Posted by Optional on 16/03/2015 at 12:27

I noticed leakage of urine when I cough, laugh, bend over or exercise from last few months. i have 58 Kg height and %ft height. is dt because i m overweight or something else? How can I cure? Its really embarrasing at times when it smells so strong

Posted by Optional on 25/01/2015 at 11:09

Im only 25 years and i feel i should not be dealing with something like that. It's only been happening for the past week but it's embarrassing and irritating. I used to hold pee for long minutes even hours but now i won't even last seconds and im lucky if i make it through the bathroom door most of the time i don't make it to the toilet bowl. It's really embarrassing! I will try to see a gyno sometime this week. I have seen people on here said they have been dealing with it for years i can't imagine dealing with it for months. It's only been 2 weeks and i feel that enough is enough!

Posted by Optional on 25/01/2015 at 01:35

I'm a 21 year old guy and I wet myself when I'm sick. It's seems to be only ladies and twice my age who have this problem. I'm fine with all other aspects of holding my pee, laughing, exercising etc. Any time I vomit I wet myself. If I'd been to the toilet not long before getting sick I'd only wet my boxers but if I'm sick forcefully or sick when I have quite a full bladder then it tends to be a full on accident with a puddle and me needing a change of clothes. It's really embarrassing for me, especially if I'm sick when I'm not at home!

Posted by Optional on 24/01/2015 at 11:01

Hey I'm 21 and EVERY single time I laugh, sneeze, cough, fart ect. I wet myself. And not just a little I full on wet myself. Before hand I go to the toilet, empty my bladder and once I'm certain that I'm empty I sneeze or fart or cough but I still wet myself. The other day I was in the supermarket with my friends and we saw something funny and I started uncontrollably peeing everywhere it was so EMBARRASING! And even worse I was trying on a pair of skinny jeans at the time so I had to go explain to the manager what had happened. Please give me some tips on how to get over this. I'm desperate!

Posted by Optional on 24/01/2015 at 06:57

Is there any women out there of a similar age who has urge incontinence. Nothing seems to be helping, medication or anti biotics.

Posted by lexi on 22/01/2015 at 08:19

Would there be anything that causes Overactive bladder and urge incontinence? Because I feel I am a little young to be having these issues and it scares me.

Posted by Optional on 09/01/2015 at 06:21

I have leakage even when I do nothing all day, but I notice it more if I cough, I'm only 17 and its been this way since I was little it gets worse and I don't know what to do I'm scared, its embarrassing

Posted by Optional on 05/01/2015 at 10:37

I'm 12 years old and have had this problem longer then I though it had it... When I started to think it wasn't normal (because none of my friends experienced the things I did) I started to look up information... It's really bothering me, actually at this point. I used to be able to hold it for at least 8 minutes to find a restroom but now I can hold my urine. Depending on how much urine wants to come out, it's too heavy for my bladder I hold I think. I even tried using the restroom every so hours so I wasn't hit by surprise but it didn't help.

Posted by Optional on 28/12/2014 at 05:15

So I am 15, and I find this to happen to me a lot, I am about 5,3" and I weigh around 135ish, so I'm not over weight. Maybe anxiety could cause the stress? Or "overactiveness"... Not really sure.

Posted by Optional on 27/12/2014 at 04:03

I had my son 13 months ago without any complications. On Christmas Eve I randomly started peeing myself (sorry if TMI). I don’t have to cough or sneeze, and I’ve never had it happen before. It happens all the time, when I stand up, sit down, bend, move etc… I don’t even realize I’ve done it until I’m soaked :( I would say at least once or twice every 15-20 minutes. We’ve ruled out a UTI and I’m assuming it’s just weak muscles from having baby, but hubby is concerned.

Posted by Optional on 25/12/2014 at 08:08

Went through menopause 8years ago. Noticed lately that there is blood in my urine. Why am I bleeding? I am on medication for angina, high blood pressure, low thyroid, irritable bowel,fibromyalgia,diabetes type 2,gall stones and depression. I understand this can cause problems but the bleeding is quite recent and worse as incontinence gets worse. Should I see my go?

Posted by Optional on 22/12/2014 at 02:06

I can drink much as much as I want to but when the "urge" hits it is a race to see if I can make the toilet. Many times I do not. What is up here?

Posted by liz on 21/11/2014 at 02:15

how can i get rid of overactive bladder and mixed urine incontinence please help this is very embarrassing since young . up to now I am s embarrassed that sometimes my boyfriend gets wet everytime we slept together. Please help!

Posted by Optional on 18/11/2014 at 03:30

In the last several years I have noticed something. Very often when I urinate and think I'm done, I leak a little. I've never had trouble making it to the toilet though. I take an extra long time now just to make sure the leak happens while I'm still at the toilet. But sometimes I'm in too much of a hurry or forget to wait. And that is when it happens.

Posted by Maureen on 10/10/2014 at 05:15

I have seen my consultant for urology and I've had the tvt tape fitted but it failed to work now I have been told that there is nothing more that can be done. Has anyone any advice regarding NHS help that I'm entitled to??

Posted by Optional on 10/10/2014 at 12:32

When I need to urinate I can't seem to hold it before I get to the bathroom. It starts streaming out right of way and I have to clean the mess up. What's causing this? And is there medication that can help?

Posted by Optional on 03/10/2014 at 01:20

Really need to get back into pool for arthritis classes, but recent incontinence is preventing this. Was hoping for links to sites that sell products that might help. However information provided was very informative.

Posted by Optional on 26/09/2014 at 10:34

For the past few weeks I have not been needing a wee at all untill I reach my house. As soon as I am walking down my path I feel the sudden urge to have a wee and most time can't stop it and end up completely weeing myself! It is so embarrassing especially because I am 17! Help, how do I deal with this

Posted by Optional on 26/09/2014 at 01:57

Good information

Posted by Optional on 25/09/2014 at 12:46

I'm having this problem since last December and it went away for a while (2-3 months) and it's recently come back! Everytime I pee I get up to wash my hands, then the urge comes back really strong and it feels like I have to pee and then I do only for a little amount to come out, the sensation gets me teary eyed. It's really uncomfortable and really inconvenient, considering this happens mostly in the middle of the night.. I've had numerous occasions where I've had unprotected sex but it's been with one guy only and I'm positive he hasn't had other partners, I don't know of this will help

Posted by Optional on 14/09/2014 at 12:19

When I wake up in the morning I've leaked so much at night. It goes straight down the middle of my undies in a line about 1 cm thick. It only just happened last night but its happened before. HELP PLEASE its ruining my life. Also I run alot and do alot of cross country and I pee around 8 times a day

Posted by Optional on 09/09/2014 at 06:04

How and what can I do to stop this I've talked to my Dr and she told me to just use pantry liners there is nothing she can do for me and this is embarrassing to me

Posted by Optional on 03/09/2014 at 04:43

Hi, I was just wondering what reference this is? The name of the article would be great! Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 2010;89(12):1511–22

Posted by Optional on 02/09/2014 at 10:17

I'm 22. Since I gabe birth by C-section I pee morethan 8 times a day ithing I might have an Overactive bladder. Plz Help

Posted by jo on 19/08/2014 at 09:07

Im 43 yrs old ever since I can remember ive wet my self when I couch run sneezing or if im being sick does anyone know wat this could be as its getting worse.does it mean I need a op for it to be cleared.

Posted by Optional on 17/08/2014 at 04:57

This is my first year dealing with this. It only happens when i get a bad cough but still i feel i cant go any where or do anything. It really embarrases me. Is there anything i can do to help control this??

Posted by Optional on 04/08/2014 at 04:32

On the incontance chart the first 3 or 4 was middle section... The next 3 was 1st section. But i just had my 4th c-section and I'm older and she was breached kicking continusly causing me to leak. So I believe that is my reason because until this pregnancy I never had this problem. And I'm over weight because I was in the hospital 3 months during the last pregnancy taking care of my middle son that was near death but healed. So, the chart was confusing but I know why I have it... Im just wondering how to heal it... Guess I'll just ask my heavenly father. Because he is the only one with all the right answers. Thank you for your time and God bless you!

Posted by Optional on 01/08/2014 at 03:23

I had a laparoscopy historectomy 2 weeks ago , for the first week all was ok then all of a sudden each time I stood up I could not control my bladder and it's been like this ever since , I had bad pains and went to the hospital where they just gave me anti biotics , I have finished them but nothing has changed , I feel sick and dizzy at times , the dr just said as I am seeing my surgeon soon that he could sort it

Posted by anila on 30/07/2014 at 06:26

i get urination more then 15 times a day and when i go mostly get only 3 - 4 drops. what to know the problem with me

Posted by optional on 24/07/2014 at 04:10

It started yesterday I went to the toilet and it seemed I was getting the sensation/feeling that I was having a wee but it carried on after I had stopped but then today since waking up it seems evey time I get a drink I get the urge as if I am going to wet myself, I was stuck crouching as I felt if I moved up right I was going to pee! I ran still crouched and made it to the toilet but again I felt that I had a lot more pee to come out than a just a little bit, please help! I have no control over stopping myself

Posted by matt on 06/02/2014 at 01:22

Hello im 25 and have been wetting myself every day since I was little. I had a few operations on my bladder when I was younger but this hasnt helped. Ive applied for the military and I know there is a lot of sports and fitness and im worried that im just going to constantly wet myself. Is there anything to cure this?

Posted by Optional on 29/01/2014 at 10:33

I am 23 and i do a lot of sport i used to do gymnastics and now trampoline and i find that i leak and have to wear a sanitary towel to avoid major embarrassment but dont know who to see about it or how to fix this :(

Posted by Optional on 28/01/2014 at 02:21

Sometimes when, I'm really exhausted from work I can't hold my water when I go to sleep. Feelslike my body completely shuts down. WHATS WRONG?

Posted by silky on 21/01/2014 at 02:52

hi...i m 24 years old nd i m facing a really weard thing these days i hv lost control ..wen i feel i need to pee nd incase i dont get toilet i pee in my happened thrice plz help me out.

Posted by Doug on 13/01/2014 at 03:41

Is there help for urge incontinence at my age 47? I have had this problem since childhood, most of the time I have been able to hide or cover this problem up or avoid puttting myself in situations that makes it to dificult to hide this embarrassing problem. Is there a surgery tgat can correct this i have tried so many tgings over the years.

Posted by Optional on 18/12/2013 at 02:33

very informative.

Posted by Suzanne on 05/11/2013 at 03:16

I have problem I do go my self by coughing lot. So what can do . If I get into a coughing spell can not stop I pee all over my self .

Posted by Secret Struggler on 30/10/2013 at 11:06

I am 25 years old and constantly feel like I have to pee! Like just sitting here right now I feel as though i'm peeing my pants, although i'm not?! I make at least 4 trips to the bathroom an hour and have a full bladder each time! Too embarrassed to go to the doctor though. Was just hoping to find some useful tips and to see if I was struggling alone!

Posted by Coughing on 24/10/2013 at 03:39

The worst ever is when I get a cold and I'm coughing non stop. When I'm awake I can squeeze my legs together and I'm fine. At night I started having to wear an overnight pad because I would have coughing fits and barely wake up or not be awake at all. I woke up a lot to go to the bathroom and my pajama bottoms would be soaked through my inner thighs. I hate it. Ever since I had my son it's been this way. My coworker who is half my size has it worse though. She had some majoring tearing and has been battling it for over 2 years. And I will not get sling procedure because the recurrent UTIs that most women with this surgery get is not anywhere near worth it compared to having to pause and squeeze my legs together to cough or sneeze.

Posted by Optional on 06/10/2013 at 03:15

At times I can't control my bladder..It soaks my clothes...Don't know when it is going to happen...Very embrassing..What causes this?

Posted by Optional on 29/09/2013 at 03:25

I am 22 years old and I have to keep going to the bathroom I go like 10 times a day I have stomach pains and headaches a lot.

Posted by Optional on 24/09/2013 at 05:42

I have to go all the time can't never get to bathroom on time I start with bladder pressure and leak and then flood then I am soaked please I would liketo know if anyone has this problem can't sleep at nite for fear of wetting my bed so a shameed to admit

Posted by S P Singh on 13/09/2013 at 05:52

After treatment of Prostate cancer and also robotic surgery for removal of part of urinary bladder ,there is incontinence with urine coming out constantly drop by drop,What to do?

Posted by KatlynnElaine on 01/08/2013 at 05:22

I am 15 and pregnant, and im 28 weeks and, here recently I have been "squirting" on my self every time I cough or sneeze. Is this normal? Do I need to tell my OB about it? And, what are some ways of stopping it? Such as home remedies?

Posted by Optional on 19/07/2013 at 04:35

when I go to the bathroom and start to sit down pee goes every where it will shoot out about a foot in front of me I go to the bathroom more than 8 times a day

Posted by Optional on 24/06/2013 at 05:43

I am 35yrs recently since 2yrs I am suffering with stress incontinence, when ever I cough or laugh I usually get this so please help me with the solution.. Do I need to under go any surgery?

Posted by Optional on 02/05/2013 at 06:35

When I need the loo I need it so urgently I nearly pee myself and sometimes don't make it in time what's happening to me?

Posted by walt on 12/04/2013 at 11:43

I had spinal cord surgery in August of 2012.The tumor was begin.But it left me paralyzed in my left leg.And I have had a catheter in since the surgery.Now their telling me I probably have to have it the rest of my life,can you give me some info on things I might be able to do to get the bladder to start working again.I have had 5 U.T.I. and a blood infection 1 time. I need help.thank you,walt

Posted by Optional on 11/04/2013 at 06:26

I have been needing the washroom more and more each day I went to the doctors here and oh most every time I had a uti but the last time I went I didn't but I still need to use the washroom more than usual what is happening to me

Posted by Optional on 30/03/2013 at 04:54

every time i try to make it to the bath room it is always a sudden urge and i can never make it there, same in the am when i first wale you i head to the bathroom and I am soaked by the time i get there, this is scary what can i do..

Posted by Jasmine on 21/03/2013 at 01:47

I play sports. Only gymnastics and cheer but I don't really run.. And lots of time when I jump during cheer doing a straddle jump I pee a little or leak.. Scares me that other girls my age don't?

Posted by Optional on 19/03/2013 at 11:19

Basically this problem I suffered doesn't bother me during the day. Last night was a perfect example I went to sleep at 1am I woke up in excruciating pain to go to the toilet like someone was applying direct pressure to my bladder causing severe discomfort so I went to the loo and the pain (burning sensation) stayed for a further 5 minutes. Then at 4.45am I suffered the exact same problem this time I had aches In my hips. Then again at 8.30am this morning this problem doesn't happen every night but certainly on a regular basis on average 4 nights a week I smoke I keep my fluids up during the day ect but I just wondered what it coul be???

Posted by Erika on 12/03/2013 at 07:59

I'm 29 weeks pregnant and I been sick, and I'm peeing more than usual sometimes when I cough I pee or I pee lots 24/7. What can I do it's so embersing

Posted by Optionaljean on 23/02/2013 at 11:17

Ionly go to the toilet in the morning and at nite but sometimes i dont make it up the stairs and cant hold it in and wet myaelf and i go to the toilet before i have intercoursee but i still pee myself wen he puts his penis in its so embarresing wat can i do

Posted by Optional on 23/02/2013 at 08:43

This is the first time that this has ever happened to me.. I had a bad cold for a couple weeks and whenever I cough I would pee just a little bit :( Might it go away after the cold passes? It's really embarassing :(

Posted by OptionalCecil Lawla on 22/02/2013 at 06:26

Article covers the problems in a clear and concise manner . The table format of types and related causes is especially easy to follow.I am wondering if a prolapsed uterus has any relation shipto theproblem.

Posted by cAROL on 13/12/2012 at 01:07


Posted by Stressed&ParanoidTeen on 18/11/2012 at 03:02

I am 16 years old now...I have been to my doctor, psychiatrists, counselors, have been put on meds. None of these people or substances have done anything to help me. At first I had a fear, which developed into a paranoia and then back into a fear two years ago about unrinating on my self.It left but is now back. The worst part about it all is that now I have incontinence! I have done Kegal excersizes! Eat very healthy! Have experimented with drinking lots of liquids to none at all. I realize I have a VERY high (Multiple types) Anxiety disorder(s)...does anyone know if this is why....The question and biggest fear I have not being able to notice when I have leaked. Why is this

Posted by Katharine on 03/10/2012 at 04:47

After reading all these posts, there is a huge need for help with those of us suffering from leakage. who is truly interested in getting better? The kegel exercises are a good start, losing weight another, walking more, eating healthier, all of these have helped me. Now I only leak when I'm sick and weakened. I empty my bladder as much as possible, clean myself, add talcum powder and do those kegels! Trampolines and any jumping activities will continue the leakage because of the pressure you are applying on your bladder. Hope this helps you all. I'm tired of the smell!!!

Posted by Optional on 01/10/2012 at 04:06

Can it be treated or will i now pee myself for the rest of my life?

Posted by Optional on 25/09/2012 at 09:36

I'm not satisfy with this information. Is it an std desease?

Posted by Optional on 24/09/2012 at 11:31

Dear Sir This websit is very usefull.BUt pls guuide me I ahe tried so many medcine but could not cure so what Shall I do I am in Paksitan

Posted by Optional on 12/09/2012 at 10:43

some of my urine has already cme out whrn i wake up

Posted by Optional on 12/09/2012 at 03:27

I fine ma self in the morning wet(urine) but dont feel it when i urinate. I urinate unconsciously at mid night, why?

Posted by Rachel on 05/09/2012 at 06:11

I am in week 8 of a total hysterectomy and I have just started with stress incontinence.I have also stopped taking my fluoxitine, could this contribute?

Posted by Optional on 05/08/2012 at 02:12

i have a problem for long time ago. when i was child, i had problem for l urinate in bed in night unknowingly. this problem is still on. i am at 25 years old. and i am unmarrid girl. i have problem so can you plese help me...

Posted by Pat on 30/07/2012 at 10:43

This was very helpful. Thank you simple explantions which makes it easier for all.

Posted by solutiano on 30/06/2012 at 02:00

iam stiil donot know what to do about my problem becouse you have not tell me what to do about it you tell me about donations of which i donot have amoney

Posted by Optional on 15/06/2012 at 10:46

My mother is 92 years old.She is neither suffering from High B P or Diabetes.But she frequently feeels like passing urine and stool( almost at every 20 minutes) but she is not able to pass either urine or stool.At present she takes Sizodone MD 0.5 and Pregabaline with vitamins. my mail ID is

Posted by Optional on 13/06/2012 at 06:22

I have this problem while using the it advisable to continue using it?

Posted by Mrs.Right on 17/05/2012 at 10:01

I kno this is kind of embarrasing but i do play alot of sports n sofball is one of the major ones.I run n i pee.Is their an OTC Med that i can get to help me when i am active with sports?I am just dying to kno this info its very irretating.

Posted by jan on 22/04/2012 at 09:57

I have been having what I thought was UTI for the last several months, but now I am not sure if that is the problem. Extreme itching in my vulva (Labia) somtimes making that area bleed from itching (rubbing) too much. I am also Diabetic. Gonna have other options Checked out.

Posted by I gotta go! on 30/03/2012 at 06:43

I've noticed that typically the week prior to my period I feel more pressure on my bladder and each day up until my period and a bit into it I have difficulty with making it to the restroom. The rest of the month I'm ok no problems. However during this time. I start needing to use the restroom more frequently then, then I have to go and Im rushing to make it to the restroom, then I have to go and I barely make it to the restroom, then I have to go and I don't even make it to the restroom. Then I have a great day of where I don't even feel it and it just flows when it wants to like the valve is just stuck open. Strangely enough it's usually ok when I sit no urge or anything but the second I stand I'm wetting myself I try to still make it to the restroom and I go to sit and then nothin' stand and I flow. I'm quite certain that my cycle has something to do with it and pushes on a nerve or something cause I cycles right along with my flow. I started having this problem within the last couple years. 5 years ago I had my 1 and only child and she pushed on my bladder as most do but I had had a c-section. Never been quite the same after that but never this bad either. Any other women notice urinary incontinence, or worsening around flow time?

Posted by Optional on 27/03/2012 at 11:44

i just finished my period for good i been leaking when i get up from the couch, when i cough, and when i am in bed i do get up to go to the bathroom i am wearing poise is there anything else i can do to make it stop i am going on a trip soon. i will have to take poise with me.

Posted by Optional on 20/03/2012 at 02:36

Is it normal to urinate more than 10 times in a day?

Posted by Optional on 04/03/2012 at 04:33

I have had the leakage problem for sometime,but it has gotten worse over the years. I have been check and all the tests are normal. The onlything I know is that the leakage, the buble sensaton of urine liking get worse when I don't feel well, particularly when I have a cold. Does anyone know why this happens, or if there is an underlying condition that I should have checked?

Posted by Ricardohn on 27/02/2012 at 04:49

Hi,am 15yrs just joined a high school,ave been having this urine drops for a week now and am very disturbed,ave been sent home for treatment.This is emberassing please help me,am an orphan.

Posted by Dont Want To Say. on 20/02/2012 at 01:56

Hey I Have A Problem, When I Cough Every Single Time I Need To Go To the tiolet :( I Dont Know What To Do? I Go To School And It Is Affecting My Sleeping Pattern And I Am Sometimes To Tired To Go To School?

Posted by Optional on 16/02/2012 at 07:31

My mother appears to be sufferinf from urge incontinence - the sudden need to pass urine and not able to reach toilet. she is heart patient and also suffering from eye problems. what about side effects. Period medicine is required to be taken. what is the price and how to be paid in india in indian currency.

Posted by Pat on 09/02/2012 at 08:12

When my bladder is full i can not hold it at all. I am runing to the the bath all the time. Sometime I make it sometime not. This not good at all. I have to wear a pad during the day and at night. And I can not stand the odor. This is becoming a serious problem.

Posted by Optional on 01/02/2012 at 03:31

I always have to be sure to cross my legs when I cough, sneeze, etc. or I will leak a little urine. With a recent bug that had me coughing a lot, I noticed if I turned my head to the side when coughing I almost have no leakage at all. Is this a secret no one ever told me? Or just a fluke that works on my body?

Posted by Ricky on 01/01/2012 at 12:33

I had to go toilet atleast 10times a day and more than 2 times at night.there is also a foul smell(very bad type) in my urine.I can hold urine.I test my blood and urine as well but no symptom of diabties are found neither in urine or in blood.please help me out, what will I do.

Posted by Optional on 28/12/2011 at 10:30

hi im 27 years old ever seens i was born i had a urinary problem i dont know what to do i get really depress.

Posted by Optional on 27/11/2011 at 01:10

i keep leaking urine when sneezing laughing caughing playing sport, also cant hold it well. also leeking through sex,.

Posted by Optional on 15/11/2011 at 02:26

i would like to know if any products are on the market to help with this problem

Posted by OptionalSeke Sebi on 13/11/2011 at 07:27

Great indept information on the topic. I am now better informed on what I need to on my own and the area I need to see my Doctor.

Posted by Optional on 10/11/2011 at 04:55

Recently I started topass urine while laughing hard. Not very funny! why it happens? Barbara

Posted by crystal on 29/08/2011 at 04:41

After swimming for about 20 mintutes after i leak water. I know this is common after child birth but i have never been pregnant. would the problem be weak pelvic floor?

Posted by confused and needs help on 26/08/2011 at 01:34

I am almost 16. Within the past year I have started to leak at random times. This was weird because it had never happened before and although most of the stress symptoms fit me I dont fit with any of the reasons. I am very scared to tell anyone, out of embarresment, espescially my parents or doctor. Please can someone help me?

Posted by Optional on 24/05/2011 at 04:15

I have to urinate sometimes during the day and at night alot sometimes I can't hold it I am not pregnant

Posted by Optional on 23/05/2011 at 09:39

please i want your help : Iam aresaecher I need researhes about impact of UI on quality of life among menopausal women. with my grat thanks.

Posted by Tehmeena on 28/02/2011 at 06:33

i m 26year old unmarried female.i m struggling from the problem of urine leakage frm last 2 yrs.i urinate abt 5-6 times a day and many times during night avoid night problem, i dont take liquids after evening.i hav noticed that it pains a lot during urinating.i dont find this article much useful.m still confidence has shattered coz of this problem

Posted by Optional on 18/02/2011 at 03:20

I have had leakage ever since I can remember. It's very embarrassing and change my undies up to 3 times a day if I dont wear a pad. I don't want to know what it'll be like after I have kids :s this article was very helpful though and made me realize I'm not the only one!

Posted by Optional on 28/01/2011 at 02:27

hi lately when im having sex with my husband i leak urine. why is this

Posted by Socorro on 17/01/2011 at 06:06

I had a hystarectomy/cystocele/rectocele operation right after Christmas... For about a week I was totally unable to control my bladder. Now in the third week of recovery I often do not get to the toilet on time. But I am better able to control my bladder. I expect from reading different web pages that I will gain control by following a urine incontinence exercise program.

Posted by Jane on 05/12/2010 at 12:43

I'm glad I'm not alone, this started 2 years ago, but seem to be getting a little worse. It started when someone bump into me, which caused a linkeage. Now its when I laugh, sneeze, raise my voice or even cough. It is embarrasing just this month I have been using pads to help from wetting myself entirely. The reason I researched this information is because my mother mentioned that a friend of hers had an operation to correct this issue. So I was basically looking for information on the surgery.

Posted by Optional on 08/11/2010 at 12:52

Have found this information useful.

Posted by Optional on 09/10/2010 at 05:26

I have been having problem with holding my urine for the past 2 years, ever since my apendictis surgery ! I remember that to make me pee after surgery they stick a long thing inside me and ever since I never been the same. I pass urine more than 7 times a day, wake up at least 2 to 3 times at night to pee, i know my panty is always wet, i do always make it to the toilet. i'm so desperate !

Posted by Optional on 23/08/2010 at 02:41

This has helped but I really want to know if an orgasm with penitration can make me pee. I know without penitration with an orgasm can cause urination. My question in a different way: Do women ever urinate during orgasm with penis penitration?

Posted by Optional on 09/08/2010 at 04:57

I am able to hold urine but often hurry to reach to toilet. Also when I pass urine, there's a leakage coming mostly drops. Sometimes quite a bit more.

Posted by Optional on 17/05/2010 at 08:16

I constantly feel pressure, as if I'm holding urine in 24/7 almost, especially whenever I sit down at any point. Then I go to the toilet and half a cup-full comes out. This page doesn't really help me as much as it could. Unsure where to turn... Nothing can stop my underwear being ruined like there is for women. Embarrassing to say the least, and WHAT to do? I'm a 20 yr old male.

Posted by Optional on 07/03/2010 at 10:20

I have been having urine leakage for about 3 years now. It a small amount, although it seems to be constant. My underpants are always wet and it smells like urine. It's constant and isn't necessarily brought on by coughing, sneezing or stress. Although It's more when I cough or sneeze. I now wear a poise pad which at least protects my underwear and the order - but it is SOOOOO frustrating! I had a baby 3 years ago, I'm now 40. I didn't have this problem before having my son, but I had a c-section, so not sure why this is happening...I can relate to everyone's truly aggravating.

Posted by Diane on 14/01/2010 at 12:00

I sometimes have difficulty emptying my bladder. Also, at times I have leakage. For that , I , periodically, start urinating then stop, hold , continue urinating. I do this 2x. this has strengthened the muscles & has eliminated leaking by 80%.

Posted by rakhee amin on 13/01/2010 at 04:19

Hello, I do not have control to hold urin.All the time i have to wear pad.During the night each two hour i wake up for urin and eventhough i have wet pad. I am so frustret please give me suggetion.

Posted by Elle on 10/01/2010 at 06:56

I saw something on tv about stem cells being put into the bladder in order to repair some damage or weak areas. I think it is still in the process of being researched.. but at least it might be something to look forward too!! ...And I'm only 23 and have been having slight incontinence for a couple years. I can't imagine what it'll be like post childbirth and menopause...

Posted by confused? on 03/01/2010 at 05:02

I have had problems with leakage for some years now and have no idea why, seems like everyday I go through 2 maybe 3 pairs of underwear because of the soiled place in the seat of my underwear. I don't know what to do.

Posted by jen on 01/12/2009 at 12:23

Go to the bathroom five minutes later have to go again... Don't drink much water because I always have to go........I wake up during the night to go at least once. I take diovan 320mg for high blood pressure. I am overweight as well. It seems like coffee makes it worse.

Posted by Anonymous on 06/09/2009 at 02:38

does having had breast cancer become a reason for incontinence? Chemotherapy and other cancer drugs....can they cause incontinence?

Posted by Anonymous on 06/07/2009 at 03:02

I started getting frequent UTIs after endometrial ablation. I once became septic. When my period should occur, I get UTIs and incontinence and soak 10 to 15 pads a day. Levaquin helps but doesn't eradicate this problem. I have had CT scans and trans vaginal sonograms and no fistula was found and bladder capacity normal. This problem interferes with my life - I do not smoke and am not overweight. This problem is not found in my gene pool. I can not have normal sexual activity without getting E. Coli even with meticulour before and after peri-care. What is the problem? Both by gynecologist and urologist seem uncertain. I am afraid of betting so sick again. Any information will be appreciated.

Posted by Julie on 26/05/2009 at 03:33

I am 3 wks post op from LAVH had severe endometriosis,am also on HRT patches, have been leaking urine for last wk or so, antibiotics dont seem to have helped.Seems to be worse in the mornings,only happens when standing or sitting not coughing or sneezing. Is this commom!!! What shall i do next. Julie.

Posted by Ana Loe on 29/03/2009 at 05:59

Leakage of urine when i cough,laugh i cant hold urine more the 1 hour during the day ,during the night i pass the urine 6 times.

Posted by Betty on 24/12/2008 at 12:56

I have been having what I call a very serious condition with incontinence. The last two or three days I have wet all over my self without much notice, as soon as I feel the urge to go, I get up and start that way rather quickly which still doesn't help. I usually end up not making it to the toilet in time. I not talking about a little bit of leaking, I am talking about all of my urine starts coming out and I cannot stop it at all. I have to change my clothes several times a day. Very embarrasing to me! I used to be able to hold it but not anymore. The other night I wet 3 pairs of clothes in a fairly short time span. Please let me know what I need to do because like I said this seems to be really becoming a problem!!!


View what people have said about urinary incontinence | Types of urinary incontinence and why it happens

Fascinating facts

Of every 10 women, 4 have suffered from incontinence at some time in their adult life

Incontinence costs the UK National Health Service about £242 million/year

In the USA, 20 million people have incontinence of urine. The annual cost is about $12.4 billion for women and $3.8 billion for men

In the USA, at least $4.5 billion is spent on incontinence pads every year

embarrassing problems

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embarrassing problems