Female urinary incontinence


More than 13 million people in the United States experience urinary incontinence—the involuntary leakage of urine—and 85 percent are women. Incontinence can range from slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.

This problem is not limited to older women. In fact, it can occur in patients as young as 13 and as old as 100. Women should not accept urinary incontinence as a way of life. It does not have to be a normal part of aging. It is often caused by specific changes in body function that may result from diseases, use of medications, and/or the onset of an illness. Sometimes it is the first and only symptom of a urinary tract infection. Women are most likely to develop urinary incontinence either during pregnancy and childbirth, or after the hormonal changes of menopause, because of weakened pelvic muscles.

Our approach

With proper evaluation and treatment, incontinence can be improved or completely cured. The urogynecologists at North Shore-LIJ Health System are at the national forefront for many non-invasive, state-of-the-art procedures to correct incontinence.


Urge incontinence - The inability to hold urine long enough to reach a restroom. It can occur in people who have conditions such as diabetes, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, but may be an indication of other diseases or conditions that would also warrant medical attention. Although less common, it can also appear without apparent cause.

Stress incontinence - This is the most common type of incontinence in younger women. It involves the leakage of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects or other body movements that put pressure on the bladder.

Overflow incontinence - Leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladder's capacity to hold it.