Urinary Incontinence

Are you tired of leaking when you cough, sneeze, or laugh? You do not have to live like that! Let the experts at The Howard Center help you take control of your life.

​Urinary incontinence or overactive bladder — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time.

If urinary incontinence affects your daily activities, don't hesitate to see the experts at UOG. For most people, medical treatment can ease discomfort or stop urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence isn't a disease, it's a symptom. It can be caused by everyday habits, underlying medical conditions or physical problems. A thorough evaluation by your doctor can help determine what's behind your incontinence.

Your symptoms of urinary incontinence or overactive bladder may be different from someone else's. People with "leaking problems" have sudden intense urges to urinate; they may visit the bathroom 8 or more times a day. In addition, they may need to use the bathroom several times during the night.

To cope with possible urine loss and the embarrassment that may go along with it, many people with overactive bladder change their schedules to include looking for bathrooms, reducing intake of fluid, changing diet, and reducing physical activity.


  • ​Stress incontinence. Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.
  • Urge incontinence. You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more severe condition such as neurologic disorder or diabetes.
  • Overflow incontinence. You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn't empty completely.
  • Functional incontinence. A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
  • Mixed incontinence. You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

​At UOG we are committed to finding the source of your urinary incontinence in the most accurate way possible. We use an advanced diagnostic test called Urodynamics.

Urodynamic tests help doctors assess the function of your bladder and the tube from your bladder that passes out urine (your bladder outflow tract, or urethra).

During the tests, your bladder is filled and then emptied while pressure readings are taken from your bladder and your abdomen. The idea is to replicate your symptoms, then examine them and determine their cause.

The Urodynamic tests helps us diagnose:

  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Urge urinary incontinence
  • Mixed urinary incontinence (stress and urge urinary incontinence)

They may also be helpful in investigating other causes of incontinence.

​The kidneys make urine all the time. A trickle of urine is constantly passing to the bladder down the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters). You make different amounts of urine depending on how much you drink, eat and sweat.

The bladder is made of muscle and stores the urine. It expands like a balloon as it fills with urine. The outlet for urine (the urethra) is normally kept closed. This is helped by the muscles beneath the bladder that sweep around the urethra (the pelvic floor muscles).

When a certain amount of urine is in the bladder, you become aware that the bladder is getting full. When you go to the toilet to pass urine, the bladder muscle squeezes (contracts), and the urethra and pelvic floor muscles relax.

Complex nerve messages are sent between the brain, the bladder, and the pelvic floor muscles. These tell you how full your bladder is, and tell the right muscles to contract or relax at the right time.