Understanding Incontinence (part 1 of 3)

Incontinence | Pacific Urology | East Bay AreaBy Jeremy Lieb, MD

Does an unexpected sneeze or cough cause an even more unexpected problem – leakage? Do normal activities like rolling out of bed, hitting a golf ball or laughing cause urinary loss? Does the urge to urinate come seemingly out of nowhere and cause an uncontrollable need to flee for the nearest restroom?

We understand that experiencing this problem can cause frustration and anxiety. Incontinence is very common, but it is often a problem that people suffer through in silence. Sadly, many people may defer treatment because they feel embarrassed or ashamed to address the issue.

But incontinence sufferers are not alone. According to the National Association for Continence, there are more than 200 million people worldwide with incontinence. The majority of those diagnosed are women, with research showing that “one in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily.”

The question we hear most from patients suffering with incontinence is “Why does this happen?” Our patients are accustomed to living independent, activity-filled lives, and this unexpected loss of control makes them feel betrayed by their bodies.

The causes of incontinence vary from patient to patient. Some patients are predisposed due to genetic makeup while others experience incontinence after prostate cancer treatment, stroke, Parkinson’s diagnosis, or neurological trauma.

Many women experience incontinence issues after pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. For others, age has affected the communication strength between their brain and urinary system. Patients may also experience incontinence as a response to certain foods, drinks and medications.

The good news is that regardless of the cause, at Pacific Urology we can prescribe a course of treatment that will restore control and comfort to your daily life.

Understanding Incontinence Part 2