Incontinence in women: No need to keep silent

Incontinence (involuntary loss of urine) is a common problem in women, ultimately affecting up to two-thirds of all women. Yet it is estimated that only 1 in 4 women with symptoms of incontinence will seek help for this problem.

It often starts in middle age and can interfere with many daily activities, such as exercise and travel. Over time, it can lead to physical health problems, such as chronic bladder infections.

Smith and colleagues urge physicians to ask patients about this symptom, in case information is not volunteered. Most cases can be classified as stress incontinence, urge incontinence or mixed incontinence.

According to the authors, the diagnosis of uncomplicated cases usually can be made based on office evaluation, without the need for further tests or referrals. Treatment should give satisfactory relief to up to 90% of patients.

### p. 1233 Current trends in the evaluation and management of female urinary incontinence -- P.P. Smith et al

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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