November 27, 2014
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Incontinence

 Health Home >> Incontinence >> Learning about incontinence 

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What is urinary incontinence?

Incontinence is not a disease but actually a symptom of an underlying health problem. Unmanaged, it can lead to isolation, stigmatization, embarrassment, and even feelings of depression. The good news is that it can always be effectively managed and very often cured.

Urinary incontinence, simply speaking, means a loss of bladder control. If you leak urine (pee) when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, or experience sudden and strong urges to go to the bathroom, you have urinary incontinence. It is far more common than you might think.

Today, approximately 3.3 million adult Canadians have incontinence. This number includes people in their 20s through to their 60s and beyond - it doesn't just affect the elderly.

There are many things that can cause loss of bladder control, but it is not a normal part of aging. It can sometimes result from a urinary tract infection, constipation, taking certain medications, a stroke, or an enlarged prostate. Depending on the cause - and there are many - urinary incontinence can be either temporary or ongoing.

If you are experiencing incontinence, or if you care for someone who has it, you know that it can cause feelings of frustration and embarrassment. Fear of urine leakage can affect your lifestyle and your relationships, but it doesn't have to.

You can take charge of your condition by finding out more about the causes of and treatments for incontinence here, and then talking to your doctor. There is no need for you to suffer in silence.


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