oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Evidence-based Pharmacy Practice (EBPP) : urinary incontinence : review
Urinary incontinence (UI), an inability to control urination, is common in patients of all ages. Conservative estimates suggest that at least one in 10 people suffer from UI at some time. Although rarely life-threatening, it may seriously influence the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of affected individuals. Symptoms of incontinence range from embarrassing leaks and dribbles during routine or strenuous activity to a constant, urgent need to run to the bathroom. It can severely affect the quality of life of a person. Many patients hesitate to seek medical advice due to embarrassment and they often attempt to manage the problem by using incontinence pads, restricting their fluid intake or adjusting their lifestyles. Many cases of UI can, however, be cured or significantly improved with appropriate treatment. Treatment for UI varies for each patient based on type, persistence and severity. The focus of this article is on UI in adults and will not cover nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), which is common in children.
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