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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is involuntary loss of bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess control or unintentional voiding, which can represent a hygienic and/or social problem to the patient. Urinary incontinence can be a symptom, a sign, and a disorder. The 5 types of UI include stress, urge, mixed, overflow, and functional. The etiology of urinary incontinence is multifactorial. Risk factors for women include prior vaginal deliveries and menopause Menopause Menopause is a physiologic process in women characterized by the permanent cessation of menstruation that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity. Menopause can only be diagnosed retrospectively, after 12 months without menstrual bleeding. Menopause; the main risk factor for men is prior prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. surgery. Diagnosis is clinical, but more specialized tests are occasionally needed. Successful management is directed to the type of incontinence and the cause. Management includes nonsurgical and surgical approaches. A good prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas is expected, especially with early detection.

Last updated: 23 May, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess control, leading to involuntary loss of urine or uncontrolled urine leakage, which presents a hygienic or social problem to the individual and impacts quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of life.

Epidemiology

  • Women > men
  • Prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency ↑ with age
  • Both genders are equally affected after 80 years of age.
  • In the United States, 20 million women and 6 million men experience urinary incontinence (UI) during their lifetime.
  • Globally, approximately 35% of individuals > 60 years of age suffer from UI.
  • Up to 80% of women in nursing homes have UI.
  • Only 25% of individuals affected by UI seek treatment due to the social stigma.

Etiology and risk factors

  • History of multiple pregnancies
  • Current pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
  • Vaginal delivery
  • Damage due to surgery or trauma near/on the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess or pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy
  • Prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. surgery
  • Menopause Menopause Menopause is a physiologic process in women characterized by the permanent cessation of menstruation that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity. Menopause can only be diagnosed retrospectively, after 12 months without menstrual bleeding. Menopause
  • Conditions affecting the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification or spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy, such as: 
    • Stroke 
    • Multiple sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor 
    • Parkinson disease Parkinson disease Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Although the cause is unknown, several genetic and environmental risk factors are currently being studied. Individuals present clinically with resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. Parkinson’s Disease
    • Cerebral palsy Cerebral palsy Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of conditions resulting in motor impairment affecting tone and posture and limiting physical activity. Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of childhood disability. It is caused by a nonprogressive CNS injury to the fetal or infant brain. Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic renal disease 
  • Obesity Obesity Obesity is a condition associated with excess body weight, specifically with the deposition of excessive adipose tissue. Obesity is considered a global epidemic. Major influences come from the western diet and sedentary lifestyles, but the exact mechanisms likely include a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Obesity
  • Urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease 
  • Medications:
    • Antipsychotics and antidepressants with anticholinergic Anticholinergic Anticholinergic drugs block the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the muscarinic receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Anticholinergic agents inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in effects on the smooth muscle in the respiratory tract, vascular system, urinary tract, GI tract, and pupils of the eyes. Anticholinergic Drugs properties
    • Alpha-adrenergic agonists
    • Alpha antagonists
    • Diuretics Diuretics Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function. Heart Failure and Angina Medication
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers 
    • Sedative hypnotics
    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors A class of drugs whose main indications are the treatment of hypertension and heart failure. They exert their hemodynamic effect mainly by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system. They also modulate sympathetic nervous system activity and increase prostaglandin synthesis. They cause mainly vasodilation and mild natriuresis without affecting heart rate and contractility. Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Inhibitors
    • Medications against Parkinson disease Parkinson disease Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Although the cause is unknown, several genetic and environmental risk factors are currently being studied. Individuals present clinically with resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. Parkinson’s Disease
  • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
  • ↑ Alcohol or caffeine Caffeine A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine’s most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, antagonism of adenosine receptors, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling. Stimulants intake
  • ↑ Age

Consequences of urinary incontinence

  • Increased: 
    • Rates of depression and social isolation 
    • Hospitalizations 
    • Urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Pressure ulcers 
    • Admission to long-term residential care 
  • Decreased:
    • Work productivity 
    • General health
    • Quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of life 

Pathophysiology

Normal bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess function

  • The bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess has 2 main functions: 
    • Store urine 
    • Expel urine 
  • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess function is controlled by:
    • Detrusor muscle → contracts during voiding 
    • Urethral sphincter → contracts during filling
  • The bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess is innervated by the parasympathetic, sympathetic, and voluntary nervous systems.
  • During filling:
    • Sympathetic stimulation → detrusor muscle relaxation
    • Contraction of the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess
    • Contraction of the external urinary (urethral) sphincter
  • During voiding:
    • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess distention → activation of mechanoreceptors → afferent Afferent Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology signals to the pons Pons The front part of the hindbrain (rhombencephalon) that lies between the medulla and the midbrain (mesencephalon) ventral to the cerebellum. It is composed of two parts, the dorsal and the ventral. The pons serves as a relay station for neural pathways between the cerebellum to the cerebrum. Brain Stem: Anatomy
    • Inhibition of sympathetic stimulation and relaxation of the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess
    • Parasympathetic activation of the detrusor 
  • ↑ Intra-abdominal pressure during the Valsalva maneuver Valsalva maneuver Forced expiratory effort against a closed glottis. Rectal Prolapse is transmitted to the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy and bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess equally, which results in continence.
  • The urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy is supported by the pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy muscles, which help to close the urethral opening.
  • Damage to the balance between the detrusor muscle and the urethral sphincter contributes to UI.

Incontinence pathophysiology

  • Stress incontinence:
    • Leakage of urine due to effort or exertion
    • Intra-abdominal pressure > bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess sphincter pressure
    • Often due to prolapse putting the sphincter outside the abdomen
  • Urge incontinence: overactivity of the detrusor muscle
  • Mixed incontinence: combined detrusor muscle and bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess sphincter pathology
  • Overflow incontinence:
  • Functional incontinence:
    • Inability to control urine voiding due to a physical or mental impairment impeding the individual from reaching the toilet

Clinical Presentation

General approach

Focus Focus Area of enhancement measuring < 5 mm in diameter Imaging of the Breast the history on symptoms consistent with incontinence based on the type of circumstance:

  • ↑ Daytime frequency of urination
  • Hesitancy (difficulty to initiate voiding)
  • Urge to void, but leakage before reaching the restroom
  • Disruption in daily activities due to urine leakage 
  • Leakage of urine postsurgery 
  • Feeling of dampness in the undergarment without the feeling of urine leakage
  • Feeling of incomplete voiding 
  • Nocturia Nocturia Frequent urination at night that interrupts sleep. It is often associated with outflow obstruction, diabetes mellitus, or bladder inflammation (cystitis). Diabetes Insipidus 
  • Nocturnal enuresis Enuresis Involuntary discharge of urine after expected age of completed development of urinary control. This can happen during the daytime (diurnal enuresis) while one is awake or during sleep (nocturnal enuresis). Enuresis can be in children or in adults (as persistent primary enuresis and secondary adult-onset enuresis). Elimination Disorders (leakage of urine when asleep)
  • For individuals who have difficulty recalling or quantifying symptoms:
    • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess diary:
      • Fluid intake 
      • Frequency of voiding 
      • Urine volume
      • Number of episodes of incontinence
    • Pad test: 
      • The individual is asked to wear a pad.
      • The volume of urine leaked is checked by the weight and the number of pads used per day.

History

  • Stress incontinence:
    • Leakage of urine due to effort or exertion
    • When the event causing ↑ intra-abdominal pressure stops (e.g., coughing), small leakages stop.
    • Associated with pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care, childbirth, constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation, and obesity Obesity Obesity is a condition associated with excess body weight, specifically with the deposition of excessive adipose tissue. Obesity is considered a global epidemic. Major influences come from the western diet and sedentary lifestyles, but the exact mechanisms likely include a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Obesity
  • Urge incontinence:
    • Sudden and unexpected need to void urine
    • Associated with:
      • Overactive bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess syndrome → urinary urgency Urinary Urgency Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus occurs with or without incontinence
      • Cystitis Cystitis Inflammation of the urinary bladder, either from bacterial or non-bacterial causes. Cystitis is usually associated with painful urination (dysuria), increased frequency, urgency, and suprapubic pain. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
      • Multiple sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor
      • Stroke
      • Parkinson disease Parkinson disease Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Although the cause is unknown, several genetic and environmental risk factors are currently being studied. Individuals present clinically with resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. Parkinson’s Disease
      • Prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. hyperplasia Hyperplasia An increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation. It differs from hypertrophy, which is an increase in bulk without an increase in the number of cells. Cellular Adaptation
  • Mixed incontinence: Involuntary leakage is associated with urgency and stress incontinence.
  • Overflow incontinence:
    • Urinary retention Urinary retention Inability to empty the urinary bladder with voiding (urination). Delirium or incomplete bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess emptying 
    • Continuous or frequent loss of urine
    • May result from:
      • Pelvic/abdominal surgery 
      • Enlarged prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid.
      • Pressure on the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy by a tumor Tumor Inflammation
      • Urethral stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis 
      • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
      • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
      • Medication 
      • Neurological impairment
  • Functional incontinence:
    • Cognitive or physical factors impairing the individual’s ability to reach or use the restroom.
    • Associated with:
      • Impaired mobility Mobility Examination of the Breast or dexterity
      • Dementia Dementia Major neurocognitive disorders (NCD), also known as dementia, are a group of diseases characterized by decline in a person’s memory and executive function. These disorders are progressive and persistent diseases that are the leading cause of disability among elderly people worldwide. Major Neurocognitive Disorders/cognitive impairment 
      • Confusion
      • Poor eyesight 
      • Poor environment or a change in environment (e.g., hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium)

Physical examination

  • Pelvic exam to check for: 
    • The integrity of pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy muscles
    • Vaginal atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation
    • Pelvic organ prolapse Pelvic Organ Prolapse Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a general term that refers to herniation of 1 or more pelvic organs (e.g., bladder, uterus, rectum) into the vaginal canal, and potentially all the way through the introitus. Weakness and insufficiency of the pelvic floor may result in POP. Pelvic Organ Prolapse
    • Digital exam for pelvic/uterine masses
  • Abdominal exam to palpate for pelvic and abdominal masses
  • Rectal exam: 
    • Determine the size and consistency Consistency Dermatologic Examination of the prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. gland.
    • Exclude stool impaction.
    • Examine for rectal mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast.

Diagnosis

Laboratories

  • Urinalysis Urinalysis Examination of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means. Routine urinalysis usually includes performing chemical screening tests, determining specific gravity, observing any unusual color or odor, screening for bacteriuria, and examining the sediment microscopically. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children
    • To exclude urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy infection
    • To exclude the presence of blood in the urine
    • To exclude the pathologic presence of protein or cells requiring further evaluation
  • Blood: 
    • Creatinine 
    • Blood urea Urea A compound formed in the liver from ammonia produced by the deamination of amino acids. It is the principal end product of protein catabolism and constitutes about one half of the total urinary solids. Urea Cycle nitrogen Nitrogen An element with the atomic symbol n, atomic number 7, and atomic weight [14. 00643; 14. 00728]. Nitrogen exists as a diatomic gas and makes up about 78% of the earth’s atmosphere by volume. It is a constituent of proteins and nucleic acids and found in all living cells. Urea Cycle 
    • Estimated glomerular filtration rate Glomerular filtration rate The volume of water filtered out of plasma through glomerular capillary walls into Bowman’s capsules per unit of time. It is considered to be equivalent to inulin clearance. Kidney Function Tests 

Clinical tests

  • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess stress test:
    • Full bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess
    • Ask the individual to cough or bear down while standing.
    • Observe any urine leakage.
  • Measurement of postvoid residual urine: 
    • An assessment of urine left in the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess after voiding (by ultrasound or straight catheter)
    • Abnormal: > 150 ml or ⅓ of prevoid volume
  • Urodynamic tests measure the pressure the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess/urinary sphincter muscle can withstand, and the flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure of urine:
    • Cystometry: measures pressure and volume of fluid in the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess during filling, storage, and voiding
    • Uroflowmetry: measures the rate of urine flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure
    • Urethral pressure profile: tests urethral function
    • Leak point pressure: determines the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess or abdominal pressure when leakage occurs

Radiology

  • Not always necessary
  • Pelvic ultrasound: 
    • To detect tumors 
    • To detect nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis is the formation of a stone, or calculus, anywhere along the urinary tract caused by precipitations of solutes in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, but other types include calcium phosphate, struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), uric acid, and cystine stones. Nephrolithiasis 
    • To check urine volume before and after voiding
  • Cystoscopy: A thin tube with a camera is passed through the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy and into the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess.
  • Abdominal CT: rule out masses/infection (e.g., renal carcinoma, pyelonephritis Pyelonephritis Pyelonephritis is infection affecting the renal pelvis and the renal parenchyma. This condition arises mostly as a complication of bladder infection that ascends to the upper urinary tract. Pyelonephritis can be acute or chronic (which results from persistent or chronic infections). Typical acute symptoms are flank pain, fever, and nausea with vomiting. T Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess)
  • Spinal MRI Spinal MRI Imaging of the Spine and Spinal Cord: rule out cord compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma, cauda equina Cauda Equina The lower part of the spinal cord consisting of the lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal nerve roots. Spinal Cord Injuries, and spinal abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Management

Management of urinary incontinence is dependent on several factors:

  • Type and severity of incontinence
  • Underlying cause
  • Response to treatment
  • Age
  • General health and mental state 

Lifestyle/behavioral modifications

  • Management of constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
  • Caffeine Caffeine A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine’s most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, antagonism of adenosine receptors, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling. Stimulants control
  • Weight control 
  • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus and hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension management
  • Eliminate the intake of bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess irritants: 
    • Sugar substitutes
    • Citrus fruits
    • Spicy food
  • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases cessation
  • Timed voiding before physical or strenuous activities:
    • Urinate every 2–4 hours.
    • Urinate before physical or strenuous activities.
    • Do not wait for the urge to urinate.
  • Double voiding: Avoid overflow incontinence by urinating, and then urinating again after a few minutes.
  • Avoid ↑ intra-abdominal pressure maneuvers (e.g., heavy lifting).
  • Kegel exercises Kegel Exercises Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
    • Effective in stress and urge incontinence
    • Similar in both men and women:
      • Contract the muscles to stop the flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure of urine for 5 seconds.
      • Relax the muscles for the next 5 seconds.
    • Effort should be made to gradually progress to 10 seconds per contraction.
    • 3 sets of repetitions per day 
  • Wear pads.
  • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess training:
    • The time between trips to the bathroom is progressively delayed.
    • Start with a short gap of time and gradually ↑.
    • Increase the gap until 2.5–3.5 hours is reached.

Medications

  • Topical estrogen Estrogen Compounds that interact with estrogen receptors in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of estradiol. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female sex characteristics. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds. Ovaries: Anatomy (in women): 
    • Tones and rejuvenates urethral and vaginal tissues 
    • Postmenopausal use
  • Alpha blockers (in men):
    • Used in men with benign Benign Fibroadenoma prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. hyperplasia Hyperplasia An increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation. It differs from hypertrophy, which is an increase in bulk without an increase in the number of cells. Cellular Adaptation
    • Relaxes the muscles of the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess
  • Anticholinergics Anticholinergics Anticholinergic drugs block the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the muscarinic receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Anticholinergic agents inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in effects on the smooth muscle in the respiratory tract, vascular system, urinary tract, GI tract, and pupils of the eyes. Anticholinergic Drugs
    • Relieves overactive bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess 
    • Helps with urge incontinence
    • Common side effects:
      • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
      • Dry mouth
      • Blurred vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam
      • Somnolence
    • Can cause mental status changes in the elderly Changes in the elderly A number of changes normally occur in the aging individual. These changes affect neurocognitive function, organ function, senses, metabolism, sexual function, and sleep patterns. of particular importance in aging adults, physicians need to understand the difference between normal cognitive decline associated with aging and pathologic decline. Geriatric Changes
  • Mirabegron:
    • Used in urge incontinence
    • Activates beta-3-adrenoceptors causing the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess to relax
  • Duloxetine Duloxetine A thiophene derivative and selective neurotransmitter uptake inhibitor for serotonin and noradrenaline (SNRI). It is an antidepressant agent and anxiolytic, and is also used for the treatment of pain in patients with diabetes mellitus and fibromyalgia. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Similar Antidepressants
    • Used for stress incontinence
    • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor 
    • Acts mainly in the spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy to ↑ the pudendal nerve Pudendal nerve A nerve which originates in the sacral spinal cord (s2 to s4) and innervates the perineum, the external genitalia, the external anal sphincter and the external urethral sphincter. It has three major branches: the perineal nerve, inferior anal nerves, and the dorsal nerve of penis or clitoris. Gluteal Region: Anatomy activity
    • ↑ Closure pressure of the urethral sphincter
  • Botulinum toxin Botulinum toxin Toxic proteins produced from the species Clostridium botulinum. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon endocytosis into presynaptic nerve endings. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific snare proteins which are essential for secretion of acetylcholine by synaptic vesicles. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular paralysis. Botulism type A:
    • Used for overactive bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess
    • A neurotoxin inhibiting the presynaptic release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of acetylcholine Acetylcholine A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS
    • ↓ Detrusor muscle contractility
    • Injected directly into the detrusor muscle of the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess every 6–12 months
    • May lead to bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess paralysis
  • Desmopressin Desmopressin Hemophilia
    • Used in nocturia Nocturia Frequent urination at night that interrupts sleep. It is often associated with outflow obstruction, diabetes mellitus, or bladder inflammation (cystitis). Diabetes Insipidus
    • A synthetic analog of vasopressin ( antidiuretic hormone Antidiuretic hormone Antidiuretic hormones released by the neurohypophysis of all vertebrates (structure varies with species) to regulate water balance and osmolarity. In general, vasopressin is a nonapeptide consisting of a six-amino-acid ring with a cysteine 1 to cysteine 6 disulfide bridge or an octapeptide containing a cystine. All mammals have arginine vasopressin except the pig with a lysine at position 8. Vasopressin, a vasoconstrictor, acts on the kidney collecting ducts to increase water reabsorption, increase blood volume and blood pressure. Hypernatremia)
    • Risk of hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia

Medical devices

  • Urethral inserts:
    • A tampon-like device is inserted into the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy before performing a rigorous physical activity to prevent incontinence.
    • Removed before voiding
  • Pessary:
    • Supports the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy 
    • A flexible, silicone ring inserted into the vagina Vagina The vagina is the female genital canal, extending from the vulva externally to the cervix uteri internally. The structures have sexual, reproductive, and urinary functions and a rich blood supply, mainly arising from the internal iliac artery. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy 
  • External catheters and collecting systems: 
    • Condom catheters or sheath drainage systems 
    • Preferable to indwelling catheters Indwelling catheters Catheters designed to be left within an organ or passage for an extended period of time. Pseudomonas and pads 
  • Penile clamps:
  • Indwelling catheters Indwelling catheters Catheters designed to be left within an organ or passage for an extended period of time. Pseudomonas
    • A catheter connects the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess to an external collecting system.
    • Urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease are a common complication.
  • Intermittent catheters:
    • Single-use catheters to address urinary retention Urinary retention Inability to empty the urinary bladder with voiding (urination). Delirium
    • Individuals self-catheterize as needed.
    • May lead to irritation and urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (less than indwelling catheters Indwelling catheters Catheters designed to be left within an organ or passage for an extended period of time. Pseudomonas)

Therapies

  • Radiofrequency therapies: 
    • The lower urinary tract Urinary tract The urinary tract is located in the abdomen and pelvis and consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structures permit the excretion of urine from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. Urinary Tract: Anatomy tissue is heated to promote collagen Collagen A polypeptide substance comprising about one third of the total protein in mammalian organisms. It is the main constituent of skin; connective tissue; and the organic substance of bones (bone and bones) and teeth (tooth). Connective Tissue: Histology and elastin formation.
    • Firmer tissue results, which aids AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS in bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess control
  • Sacral nerve stimulator:
    • The stimulator is inserted under the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions of the buttock; a wire connects the stimulator to the nerve running from the spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy to the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess.
    • Programmed to deliver an electric signal, which stimulates the nerve and aids AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS in bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess control
  • Bulking material injections:
    • Synthetic bulking material is inserted into the tissue surrounding the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy.
    • ↑ Mechanical pressure around the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy prevents leaking
    • Mainly for stress incontinence
  • Electrical stimulation:
    • For stress and urge incontinence
    • Strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy
    • Electrodes Electrodes Electric conductors through which electric currents enter or leave a medium, whether it be an electrolytic solution, solid, molten mass, gas, or vacuum. Electrocardiogram (ECG) are temporarily inserted into the rectum Rectum The rectum and anal canal are the most terminal parts of the lower GI tract/large intestine that form a functional unit and control defecation. Fecal continence is maintained by several important anatomic structures including rectal folds, anal valves, the sling-like puborectalis muscle, and internal and external anal sphincters. Rectum and Anal Canal: Anatomy or vagina Vagina The vagina is the female genital canal, extending from the vulva externally to the cervix uteri internally. The structures have sexual, reproductive, and urinary functions and a rich blood supply, mainly arising from the internal iliac artery. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy to stimulate and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy.
    • Multiple treatments over several months of time

Surgical management

Surgical intervention is considered when other methods of management fail.

  • Sling procedure:
    • Synthetic material or surrounding tissues create a pelvic sling under the urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy at the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess.
    • Mainly for stress incontinence 
  • Prolapse surgery: 
    • Used with pelvic organ prolapse Pelvic Organ Prolapse Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a general term that refers to herniation of 1 or more pelvic organs (e.g., bladder, uterus, rectum) into the vaginal canal, and potentially all the way through the introitus. Weakness and insufficiency of the pelvic floor may result in POP. Pelvic Organ Prolapse 
    • Many techniques
    • The individual’s tissue or vaginal mesh is used to fix or suspend the sagging pelvic organs.
    • In mixed incontinence, a sling procedure and prolapse correction are performed.
  • Artificial urinary sphincter: 
    • A valve is implanted under the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions and deflates a fluid-filled ring placed around the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess sphincter when pressed.
    • The deflation allows urine to be voided.
    • When inflated, the artificial sphincter behaves as a urinary sphincter and prevents incontinence.

References

  1. Bardsley, A. (2016). An overview of urinary incontinence. Br J Nurs. 25(18), S14–S21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27734727/
  2. Clemens, J.Q. (2019). Urinary incontinence in men. UpToDate. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/urinary-incontinence-in-men
  3. Downey, A., Inman, R.D. (2019). Recent advances in surgical management of urinary incontinence. F1000Res. 8, F1000 Faculty Rev–1294. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31448082/
  4. Irwin, G.M. (2019). Urinary Incontinence. Prim Care Clin Office Pract. 46(2), 233–242. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31030824/
  5. Lukacz, E.S. (2021). Treatment of urinary incontinence in females. UpToDate. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-urinary-incontinence-in-females
  6. Vasavada, S.P., Carmel, M.E. (2021). Urinary incontinence. Emedicine. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/452289-overview

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