Urinary incontinence is a condition that causes a loss of bladder control. This means that you can't stop yourself from urinating. For some people this means just a minor leakage when doing physical exercise, coughing or laughing - this is called stress incontinence. For others the problem can be more serious. Urinary incontinence affects the self esteem of those that it affects and also curtails the range of social activities that can be enjoyed. Luckily there are several options that can be used by people suffering from urinary incontinence.
Incontinence pads are absorbent pads that can be stuck to the inside of your every day underwear. They are suitable for minor leakages such as with stress incontinence. Larger pads are also available, which are designed to sit on a bed or chair where a person might sit or lie for longer periods of time. These are used in addition to other protection.
Incontinence pants are larger, diaper style absorbent pads that are fitted to normal looking, absorbent underwear. They can be either disposable or washable.
There are exercises that can be done to help strengthen the bladder muscles. These are most effective for treating stress incontinence.
Finally, there are medical options for treating incontinence. Several surgical procedures exist, all of which work by restricting the urethra so that urine flow can be controlled. For women, some surgery can also focus on restoring the position of the bladder if it has moved following pregnancy or with age.