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Bladder Control Problems (cont.)

Bladder Control Problems Symptoms and Signs

Incontinence is a symptom itself. It is uncontrollable leakage of urine from the bladder. Words used to describe bladder control problems include the following:

  • Urgency: The feeling of having to urinate very soon
  • Hesitancy: When trying to urinate, difficulty getting a urine stream going
  • Frequency: Having to urinate often
  • Dysuria: Pain or burning with urination (This is usually associated with a bladder infection.)
  • Hematuria: Blood in the urine (red or pinkish urine)
  • Nocturia: Urination at night (having to wake up to urinate)
  • Dribbling: Continuing to drip or dribble urine after finishing urination
  • Straining: Having to squeeze or bear down on the external sphincter to urinate

Some people with incontinence experience the following problems:

  • Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) can stem from a blockage, nerve problem, or some unknown cause. It is most common in children younger than 3 years of age, but it occurs in 15% of children 3-5 years of age and in 1% of school-aged children. The percentages decrease as children get older.
  • Dribbling incontinence occurs immediately after urination. In men, it may result from retained urine in the urethra in front of the sphincter. In women, it may result from retained urine in a urethral diverticulum (a saclike outpouching of the urethral wall).
  • Functional incontinence occurs if you are unable to reach the bathroom. You may physically "not make it" or not know you need to urinate because of some mental disability.
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