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Counties Manukau Health Obstetrics & Gynaecology

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Urinary Incontinence

A person with urinary incontinence is unable to control the release of urine from their bladder. This may be an occasional leakage or a complete inability to hold on to their urine. Women experience incontinence more often than men, and this may result from muscle damage during pregnancy and childbirth or the changes associated with menopause.
The most common type of urinary incontinence in women is stress incontinence. This is when urine leaks out when movements, such as coughing, laughing or sneezing put pressure on the bladder.
The treatment of urinary incontinence will depend on the cause of the problem, but may include exercises with a physiotherapist, medication or surgery.  Your GP will arrange for a urine test to exclude a urine infection which is a common cause of urinary incontinence.  A pelvic examination will also exclude lumps in the pelvis pressing on the bladder.

This page was last updated at 11:50AM on June 4, 2019.