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Evaluation of women with urinary incontinence

Emily S Lukacz, MD, MAS
Section Editors
Linda Brubaker, MD, FACOG
Kenneth E Schmader, MD
Deputy Editor
Judith A Melin, MA, MD, FACP


Urinary incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine, is common and undertreated [1-4]. It is estimated that nearly 50 percent of adult women experience urinary incontinence, and only 25 to 61 percent of symptomatic community-dwelling women seek care [4-7]. Patients may be reluctant to initiate discussions about their incontinence and urinary symptoms due to embarrassment, lack of knowledge about treatment options, and/or fear of surgery.

This topic will review the epidemiology, risk factors, etiology, and initial evaluation of the non-pregnant woman with urinary incontinence. Treatment of urinary incontinence in women and urinary incontinence in men are discussed separately:

(See "Treatment of urinary incontinence in women".)

(See "Treatment of urgency incontinence/overactive bladder in women".)

(See "Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse associated with pregnancy and childbirth".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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