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Urinary incontinence is leaking urine by accident

This can turn a laughing fit or fun workout into a stressful and potentially uncomfortable situation.

Urinary incontinence occurs more in older people, especially women. These bladder control problems are very common and you should not feel embarrassed talking to a urologist about your symptoms.

Three common types of urinary incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine during physical activities, like laughing, jumping, sneezing or lifting heavy objects. It occurs when the muscles that support the urethra are weakened or damaged. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Childbirth
  • Hormone changes
  • Prior surgery
  • Pelvic radiation treatment

Urge urinary incontinence

Urge urinary incontinence is the unintended loss of urine due to an involuntary bladder contraction. Patients often describe a sense of undeniable urge to void prior to urge incontinence episodes. Patients report urge urinary incontinence as losing their warning time to make it to the bathroom. They often feel the need to go even if they just emptied their bladder.

Urge incontinence is often associated with symptoms of frequent trips to the bathroom known as overactive bladder.

Mixed urinary incontinence

Mixed urinary incontinence is involuntary bladder leakage associated with a combination of both urge and stress urinary incontinence.

1 in 2

Adult Women

have urinary incontinence. [1]

[1] Markland AD, Richter HE, Fwu C-W, et al. Prevalence and trends of urinary incontinence in adults in the United States, 2001 to 2008. J Urol. 2011 Aug;186(2):589-93.

Urinary incontinence affects more people than you might think.

The important thing to remember is that although incontinence is more common as we age, urine leakage is never normal. There are millions of women out there just like you who experience some form of bladder leakage.

[2]  International Continence Society. Continence Promotion: Prevention, Education and Organization. Accessed December 13, 2021.
[3]  Kinchen KS, Burgio K, Diokno AC, et al. Factors associated with women’s decisions to seek treatment for urinary incontinence. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2003 Sep;12(7):687-98.

Many women have secret strategies for managing these symptoms, like wearing liners or pads, going before leaving the house, always finding a public restroom, limiting fluids throughout the day and crossing their legs. If you’re thinking, “Hey, I use some of those same strategies,” then it may be time to explore your treatment options for relief.

Options to manage incontinence

There are many options available to manage incontinence and begin to work towards a return to more normal life. Many times, conservative treatment options for stress urinary incontinence are used initially. Some of those treatment options include behavioral modification, such as:

Pelvic floor muscle training

Types of training include Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and sphincter muscles.


One type of treatment is use of pessaries, which are silicone devices fitted inside the vagina to provide support. Pessaries may or may not improve symptoms. When symptoms are more severe, or conservative options aren’t working, procedures such as bulking agent injections or sling surgery may be an option.

Bulking agents

One type of bulking agent treatment is called Bulkamid. This is a urethral bulking agent that is used to treat stress urinary incontinence. It is a soft, water-based gel that can be used to restore the natural closing of the urethra. It is safe and effective – 92% of women reported being cured or improved following treatment with Bulkamid. [4] The procedure is a series of 3-4 small injections that take about 10-15 minutes in an outpatient setting under local anesthetic. Bulkamid is clinically proven to deliver symptom relief out to seven years. [5]
[4] Itkonen-Freitas AM, et al. J Urol. 2020     [5] Brosche T, et al. Neurourol Urodyn. 2021


Stress urinary incontinence can be treated in several ways, depending on the exact nature of the incontinence and its severity.

To learn more, contact us or request an appointment.

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