Women Incontinence Facts

The causes of incontinence in women can occur after childbirth, menopause or advanced age and can also be related to a symptom or side effect of various medical conditions.

For the urinary system to be working correctly the muscles and nerves must be working together to hold urine and release it at the desired or correct time.

When the bladders sphincter muscle is too weak, contracts too slowly or the bladder is too full and not strong enough to hold back urine, incontinence occurs.

A simple urinary tract infection can cause temporary incontinence in females.

Some women experience bladder leakage after gaining weight or having weakness in the pelvic floor muscles and some medications.

Who it affects:

Incontinence affects up to 37% of Australian women however it has been found that nearly half of these women who visit the doctor do not discuss having incontinence, when the information is available to them to manage or even cure incontinence. One in three women who have had a baby suffer from urinary incontinence.

  • Nerve Problems:Diseases, injury and damaged nerves can lead to bladder problems. Women who have diabetes may develop nerve damage that can affect their bladder control.Conditions that affect the brain and nervous system are parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis or a stroke. An overactive bladder that squeezes at the wrong time can also be caused through nerve problems where the patient may need to urinate frequently or have a strong urgency when needing to reach the bathroom.
  • How the Bladder Works:Urine is made all the time through the kidneys. The ureters (the tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder) are constantly passing a trickle of urine down these tubes. The bladder is a muscle and is also like a balloon as it fills with urine it expands. The pelvic floor muscles keep the urethra (the tube that runs from the bladder to outside) closed.As your bladder begins to fill up and expand you become aware that the bladder is getting full.  A person would then go to the toilet to pass urine, which makes the bladder muscle contract and squeeze, while the urethra and pelvic floor muscles relax.The brain, the bladder and the pelvic floor muscles all intercept complex nerve messages. The nerve messages being sent tell you when your bladder is full and the exact muscles that you need to contract or relax at the right time.