If you’ve ever walked into a fitness class
only to rush out to use the washroom
before you start bouncing around, you
may already know about incontinence.
The accidental release of urine, also
known as incontinence or bladder
leakage, is common in women, especially
as they age. Incontinence is usually a
minor health problem, but a major source
of embarrassment. And it can happen to
Incontinence has two types: stress and
urge. Stress incontinence occurs when
It’s common and treatable
You can put an end to bladder leaks
WRITTEN BY JENNIFER GREEN
Incontinence is usually a minor health problem, but a major source of embarrassment. It’s common in women and men can have it, too.
you sneeze, cough, laugh, jump or do
anything else that puts pressure on the
bladder. It is the most common type
of bladder issue in women: one in five
females are treated for it.
The other type is urge incontinence,
sometimes called overactive bladder.
It’s usually a sign of another problem
such as nerve damage caused by various
diseases (diabetes, stroke or multiple
sclerosis), a spinal cord injury or a
People who experience urge
incontinence need to pee, but may not
be able to get to a toilet in time. They can
even go in their sleep. This can happen
even if the bladder holds only a small
amount of urine; some people may get
no warning at all.
Dr. Richard Baverstock is a clinical
associate professor at Vesia, the Alberta
Bladder Centre, in Calgary. He says
the main cause of urge incontinence
in women is a weakness of the pelvic
floor, which can be related to childbirth,
age, weight gain or genetics. In men, it