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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is loss of urine control that can range from slight loss of urine to severe, frequent wetting.

Women of all ages can have problems with the muscles or organs in the pelvis that can lead to urinary incontinence. These problems may happen when nerve signals do not function properly from genetic or anatomic factors or because of childbirth, menopause, aging, injuries and medications.

There are different types of incontinence that include the following:

  • Stress incontinence. Urine leaks during moments of physical stress such as coughing, laughing, sneezing or other movements that put pressure on the bladder
  • Urge incontinence. You lose large amounts of urine after suddenly feeling the need (urge) to urinate, including during sleep
  • Overactive bladder. Urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
  • Overflow incontinence. The bladder does not empty properly, causing it to spill over
  • Functional incontinence. When a person’s medical or physical condition interferes with getting to the toilet on time

To reach a diagnosis about the cause of your urinary incontinence, your Indiana University Health provider will perform a complete physical examination that focuses on the urinary and nervous systems as well as the reproductive organs. Urine samples will also be obtained during your physical examination. In addition, you will likely be referred to an urologist (doctor who specialize in diseases of the urinary tract).

There are many urologists in the IU Health System. With some of the most experienced physicians and staff in the state, our urology specialists incorporate highly advanced technology with a soothing environment to ensure that you feel comfortable while receiving the best care possible.

Our approach is specialized but extremely practical. We call this practical mindset our "ladder approach" to care. We start with the most comprehensive, least risky approach to treatment and move up as necessary to achieve results.

There are many options for treatment. Often treatments are more effective when used in combination. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, bladder training, physical therapy, devices, medications, bulking agents and surgery—including laparoscopic (through a very small incision) surgery.

Loss of bladder control is very common and relatively easy to treat. Do not hesitate to share your concerns with your gynecologist.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Urinary Incontinence Treatment Information

We will consult with you to determine the best treatment method, which may include the following:

Urinary Incontinence Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Urinary Incontinence Support Services

Resources for women who are experiencing urinary incontinence are available from a variety of organizations.