Female urinary incontinence: symptoms, causes and remedies

Female urinary incontinence: symptoms, causes and remedies

Presence of weak pelvic muscles, functional problems, are some of the possible causes of female urinary incontinence. Find out how to deal with it with expert advice

The involuntary release of urine can affect men and women alike, however there is a higher percentage in the female population.

Specifically, female urinary incontinence can be caused by several factors and therefore it can be a temporary or chronic disorder. Due to its symptoms, that is the involuntary loss of urine, this condition can affect the quality of life by creating embarrassment. In some cases, it can even limit your usual daily activities and affect your sex life.

However, if urinary incontinence occurs frequently, it is good to talk to your doctor about it to evaluate a therapeutic strategy. In fact, we must not believe that this disorder is part of the natural aging process and therefore, underestimate it.

So what are the main causes attributable to female urinary incontinence and what are the remedies? Let’s find out with Doctor Elisabetta Colonese, surgeon, specialized in gynecology and obstetrics, couple infertility therapy.


  • What is it and what are the symptoms
  • Cause
  • Remedies
  • Prevention

What is it and what are the symptoms

«The term female urinary incontinence defines any objectively demonstrable urine loss of such a magnitude as to constitute a hygienic and social problem. This is the definition given by the International Continence Society (ICS). The loss of urine causes discomfort both from a relational and social point of view and mainly affects women. In Italy, in fact, about 3 million suffer from it ”, explains the doctor.

Often it is difficult to consult even only with your doctor, due to the embarrassment it generates, but there are many women who are personally involved.


“We can distinguish female urinary incontinence into different types, where each of them can have different causes:

  • stress incontinence. It is caused by a stimulus, such as an effort, a sneeze, a cough or even a laugh. The stimulus then exerts pressure on the bladder to the point that it is no longer able to contain the urine;
  • urge incontinence. It is a sudden urge to urinate due to an uncontrollable contraction of the bladder. In English it is called “urge incontinence” and can be caused by urinary tract infections, stones, neurological diseases, strokes, multiple sclerosis, taking specific drugs;
  • obstructive incontinence. It consists of an overfilling of the bladder which generates difficulties in emptying it completely. There are many causes, including: childbirth, pregnancy, hysterectomy, cystitis ».
  • Female urinary incontinence is a disorder that can occur at any age, also considering the numerous causes that can cause it. Additionally, there are risk factors such as being overweight or smoking, which contribute to the onset of this condition.


    “If urinary incontinence is suspected, I recommend first of all to perform a urogynecological visit, that is a specialist visit consisting of an objective examination and which, possibly, can be associated with an ultrasound of the lower urinary tract and a test with which to evaluate the amount of urine lost. In this way it is possible to understand the type of incontinence, the degree of incontinence and the characteristics of the pelvic floor muscles. The specialist can thus evaluate whether to opt for a rehabilitation-only or interventional-type approach, as can be a minimally invasive, conservative intervention, or one that involves the intake of adequate drugs “, continues Dr. Colonese.


    “It is possible to prevent female urinary incontinence by following good eating and behavioral habits including:

    • follow a healthy and balanced lifestyle;
    • prefer a diet rich in fruit and vegetables;
    • keep body weight under control;
    • avoid smoking and alcohol;
    • drink at least two liters of water a day;
    • limit caffeine », concludes the expert.

    In general, therefore, it is good to monitor any involuntary loss of urine. Should it occur consistently, the advice is to talk to a specialist to prevent urinary incontinence from becoming a condition that makes everyday life difficult.

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