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Need To Run? Top Reasons For Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Some patients may experience the leaking of urine or the urge to go toilet when they sneeze or cough. There are many reasons why someone experiences this condition.

The risk of developing urinary incontinence increases with age. More than 20% of men will experience at least 1 urinary incontinence episode in a year when he is more than 65 years old, compared to only 4.8% in men aged 19-44 years old. As we age, the bladder muscle becomes less efficient as we are younger. Aging of the bladder muscle can decrease the bladder's capacity to store urine.

In women, pregnancy may give rise to urinary incontinence due to hormonal changes as well as the stress imparted on the bladder by the uterus.  Similarly, when a woman hits menopause, she will produce lesser estrogen than before. Estrogen is an important hormone to keep the lining of bladder and urethra healthy. Hormonal imbalance may aggravate the urinary incontinence among menopause women.

Lifestyle has an important role in inducing urinary incontinence. There is increasing evidence that poor fluid intake, chronic use of alcohol and caffeinated drinks increase the risk of urinary incontinence. Similarly, some medications may also induce this condition. 

If urinary incontinence is affecting your daily activities, it is perhaps time to speak to your healthcare professional. Spare yourselves from embarrassing moments by getting treatment at an early stage.


  1. Buckley BS, Lapitan MC, Epidemiology Committee of the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence, Paris, 2008. Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men, women, and children--current evidence: findings of the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence. Urology 2010; 76:265.
  2. Shamliyan TA, Wyman JF, Ping R, et al. Male urinary incontinence: prevalence, risk factors, and preventive interventions. Rev Urol 2009; 11:145.
  3. NHS Choice. Urinary incontinence. (published in 2016). 

urinary incontinence, stress incontinence, pregnancy, weakened bladder, menopause, lifestyle habits

About The Author
Mai Chun Wai
Dr Mai Chun Wai graduated with First Class Honours and Dean’s List from the International Medical University (IMU) Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2009. He was the recipient of Sanofi-Aventis Award and Kotra Pharma Award for excellence in research in the graduating class. Dr Mai then graduated with PhD in Medical and Health Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) from IMU under the joint supervision from IMU, University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom, UK) in 2014. In 2012, he was awarded the IMU Young Alumnus Award 2012 for his noteworthy contributions to community and society with significant personal and professional achievement.

Currently he is appointed as Lecturer in School of Pharmacy, IMU. His research team published numerous peer reviewed papers related to drug discovery and rationale drug use. His team is clearly on a trajectory to developing a national and international reputation, as exemplified by being the only Malaysian selected in the Southeast Asia-European Union-NET II (SEA-EU-NET II) Fellowship 2016, his selection as the first awardee of the Research Mobility Grant 2016 to work as a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Naples, Italy, his appointment as a Research Fellow of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation 2015, to work in Cambridge (United Kingdom) and his award of a travel scholarship funded by the Royal Society United Kingdom to participate in a workshop at UK in 2015.

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