When a patient experiences loss of bladder control, the diagnosis is urinary incontinence. The condition can occur in anyone but is typically something that is seen in those who are advanced in age. The majority of bladder incontinence problems are due to weak bladder muscles. If these muscles are too weak they cannot properly keep the bladder closed as it is in its normal state.
There are various types of urinary incontinence with the most common being stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when weakened bladder muscles allow urine leakage when certain behaviors occur, such as laughing too hard, coughing or sneezing. There is also urge incontinence. This is the opposite of stress incontinence and occurs when the bladder muscles are too active and thus makes it feel as if the patient must urinate more often; even when there is nothing to void. Finally, there is total incontinence. This occurs when the bladder muscles are so weak that there is a total loss of urinary control.
There are treatments available for urinary incontinence. Which treatment a patient would get depends on their diagnosis and what their doctor deems as necessary. Treatment being successful for stress and urge incontinence is typically more successful than for total incontinence which is difficult to treat.