Health Resources

Urinary Incontinence

What is a bladder?

The bladder, a pelvic organ, stores urine produced by the kidneys, with a capacity of approximately 350–500 millilitres. You might sense the bladder filling when it reaches half its capacity. To urinate, it's necessary to relax the pelvic floor muscles at a suitable time, following which the brain signals the bladder to begin expelling urine. The frequency of urination varies based on factors like fluid intake, with most individuals urinating fewer than eight times during the day and once or not at all during the night.  

Male lower urinary tract
Male lower urinary tract
Female lower urinary tract
Female lower urinary tract
What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence refers to any involuntary urine loss. While the risk of increases with age, it can occur in younger individuals. Women are more prone to suffer from incontinence than men.

In Asia, the condition affects 14.5% of people, impacting social, occupational, domestic, physical, sexual and psychological well-being. Many delay seeking help due to perceptions of incontinence as a natural part of ageing, unawareness of treatment options or embarrassment. If incontinence frequently affects your quality of life, consult a medical professional. Various treatment options are available, including pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegel exercises), medications and surgical interventions. Your urologist will recommend the most suitable treatment after a thorough consultation.

What is stress incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) involves urine leakage during activities that increase bladder pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting heavy objects. In severe cases, even sudden movements like standing up can cause leakage. This occurs when the urethra or urinary sphincter cannot withstand the pressure from a full bladder.

Causes of SUI for women

  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles
  • Menopause changes and ageing
  • Obesity
  • Persistent conditions causing cough or constipation
  • Childbirth
  • Previous pelvic surgery

Common risk factors for males include:

  • Pelvic or prostate surgeries
What are the services and treatments available for urinary incontinence?

Click here for more information on available services and treatments for urinary incontinence.

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