Incontinence can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common as we age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.

Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. Two primary types of incontinence include:

Stress Incontinence

Occurs when the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, causing accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object.

Overactive Bladder

Occurs when bladder muscles become too active, which causes a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is known as urge incontinence.


Mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting.


Your Ohio State urologist will talk with you about your condition, your health history and medications you are taking. The doctor may perform a physical exam. The urologist may ask you to keep a diary of your fluid intake and urinary habits.

Cystoscopy may be performed. This test involves insertion into the urethra of a small tube with a miniature camera on the end to view the urethra and bladder. Imaging techniques may be used to help determine the cause of the Incontinence.


Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what fits well with your lifestyle. Treatment may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures, or surgery.

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