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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2014 October;66(5):469-78

language: English

Urinary incontinence in women: a comprehensive review of the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment

Padmanabhan P., Dmochowski R.

Department of Urology, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS, USA


Urinary incontinence (UI) or involuntary leakage of urine is a distressing and serious health problem. It has a significant psychosocial and economic burden leading to significant quality of life issues. UI is more prevalent than most chronic diseases yet largely underreported. Aging and age-related changes in the bladder play a significant role in the development of UI. This in combination with cognitive dysfunction, functional impairment, pharmacotherapy, smoking, childbearing, obesity and coexisiting comorbidities worsen the condition. Due to the burden UI places on the individual, their family and society, it is important for providers to diagnose and have ready treatment options available. The three most common types of UI are stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI), or a combination of both, mixed urinary incontinence (MUI). This review describes the pathophysiology of incontinence; and diagnosis and treatment (conservative, pharmacological, and surgical therapies) of incontinence in women.

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