Incontinence is a medical condition wherein there is an involuntary loss of urine from the bladder in case of urinary incontinence, or even feces or wind from the bowels which is termed as bowel or fecal incontinence. Incontinence is known to be a fairly commonly observed medical condition that most people tend to feel embarrassed about and are usually too ashamed to report it. For this reason, most individuals try to deal with themselves at home. In normal circumstances, the kidneys tend to produce urine that is then stored in the urinary bladder which is a sac of muscle. The urethra is the tube that connects to the bladder and facilitates the movement of urine outside the body. As the bladder begins to fill with urine, the sphincter is signaled by the nerves to remain shut till the bladder is relaxed. In this way the muscles and the nerves work in tandem to ensure that the urine does not accidentally or unintentionally leak outside the body. When the person actually feels the urge to urinate, the same nerves will signal the muscles that are present in the walls of the bladder to squeeze which will then allow the urine to move out of the bladder and into the urethra and finally out of the body.
In quite a few cases, incontinence is just a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as a urinary tract infection which then requires specific treatment.
Frequently asked questions
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- Geoffrey W. Cundiff, Robert L. Harris, Kimberly W. Coates, Richard C. Bump, Clinical predictors of urinary incontinence in women, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 177, Issue 2, August 1997, Pages 262-267, ISSN 0002-9378, 10.1016/S0002-9378(97)70185-6.
- Felix W. Leung, John F. Schnelle, Urinary and Fecal Incontinence in Nursing Home Residents, Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 697-707, ISSN 0889-8553, 10.1016/j.gtc.2008.06.005.