Urinary leakage or incontinence is when a person loses control of their bladder and urinates unintentionally. It encompasses both occasional small leaks and complete bladder voiding.
Incontinence has a wide range of potential causes. The condition is often seen in the elderly, although urinary leakage is not necessarily an unavoidable fact of aging. Many patients are adversely affected by their urinary leakage and struggle to integrate their social lives with their condition. The condition can occur in single instances or chronically and varies in severity.
The most common types of incontinence are stress and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence refers to urine leaks brought on by pressure on the bladder, such as coughing or sneezing. Urge incontinence is the sudden and sometimes uncontrollable urge to urinate.