A Gynecologist's Second Opinion:
The Questions & Answers You Need to Take Charge of Your Health
(Second Edition, Revised)
by William H. Parker
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Urinary Incontinence

Involuntary leakage of urine is very common in women. There are several types of incontinence, but the most common among women is called stress incontinence, which refers to loss of urine when straining (e.g., laughing, coughing, sneezing, etc.). In the United States, more than 11 million women are affected by stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is usually an uncontrollable urge to go to the bathroom, that is often followed by leakage of urine before the toilet is reached. Medications are used to treat urge incontinence. Mixed incontinence is a combination of these two types.

Left untreated, urinary incontinence can progress to the point that it becomes socially embarrassing, and has been cited as the most common reason for families to place their grandmothers in nursing homes.


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