You are here

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. Involuntary loss of urine can occur at any age in both women and men.

While urinary incontinence is very common, it is not normal. Incontinence can have an enormous impact on a person’s quality of life and restrict their ability to live freely without knowing the location of toilets.

Many people avoid seeking help for their urinary incontinence because of many factors including embarrassment, shame and fear, and because they incorrectly assume that they cannot be helped.

It is important to realise that much can be done to help anyone who suffers from urinary incontinence. The good news is that urinary incontinence can be prevented, treated and often cured. Treatment for urinary incontinence does not always involve surgery and many people can be helped with non-surgical treatments including physiotherapy and medication.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence include:

  • Leakage of urine with coughing or sneezing
  • Leakage of urine with exercise
  • Rushing to the toilet with little or no warning
  • Leaking urine before being able to reach the toilet
  • Leaking urine without awareness
  • Needing to wear pads to treat leakage