Incontinence, What is incontinence?, What causes incontinence?, How is incontinence treated?, Resources
Urinary incontinence affects older women more than it affects men. One reason is that changes in a woman's hormone levels later in life can weaken muscles that control urination. Women who have had children may also experience more incidents of incontinence because the muscles that are stretched during pregnancy and childbirth may become weakened.
Some over-the-counter cold medicines as well as some prescription drugs for conditions such as high blood pressure can cause incontinence.
How Is Incontinence Treated?
Treatments for urinary incontinence involve avoiding liquids and caffeinated drinks such as coffee near bedtime and going to the bathroom at regular intervals. Men and women both can perform Kegel musclestrengthening exercises that help control urine release. Some adults wear pads to absorb small amounts of urine that leak. Medications and surgery are helpful for some people.
The treatment for bowel incontinence depends on the cause. If the cause is chronic constipation, treatment involves adding fiber to the diet and correcting the constipation. Other causes may require surgery.
See also Bed-wetting (Enuresis)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 9000 Rockville Pk., Bethesda, MD 20892-2560. Telephone: 301-496-3583. Website:
(accessed March 28, 2016).
* urine is the liquid waste material secreted by the kidneys and removed from the body through the urinary tract.
* feces (FEE-seez) is the excreted waste from the gastrointestinal tract.
* Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the nervous system that causes shaking, rigid muscles, slow movements, and poor balance.
* Alzheimer's (ALTS-hy-merz) disease is a condition that leads to gradually worsening loss of mental abilities, including memory, judgment, and abstract thinking, as well as changes in personality.