Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Header Text: 

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary leakage of urine, whether it's a large amount or just a few drops.

Body: 

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary leakage of urine, whether it's a large amount or just a few drops.

Tens of millions of men and women in the United States experience urinary incontinence at some point in their lives. There are several possible causes of UI, explored below.

The four most common types of urinary incontinence are:

  1. Stress urinary incontinence = leakage with physical activity (for example – with coughing, laughing, sneezing)
  2. Urge urinary incontinence = leakage preceded by a sudden urge to urinate
  3. Mixed urinary incontinence = a mix of both stress and urge incontinence
  4. Overflow urinary incontinence = involves leakage due to a bladder that is too full

Urinary incontinence is common, but it can be managed and even reversed, in some cases. The expert urologic team at Weill Cornell offers personalized care and will work closely with you to determine your best treatment option. Learn more about the risks, causes, and symptoms of UI below.

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Urinary Incontinence Treatment

Which treatment your urinary incontinence doctor at Weill Cornell recommends will depend on the cause of your incontinence and the severity of the condition. Treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy: Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of UI.
  • Medications: Anticholinergics (Ditropan, Enablex, etc.) can help calm an overactive bladder.
  • Bladder training: This involves attempts at controlling when you urinate to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of UI over time.
  • Vaginal inserts and pessaries: These devices are placed inside the vagina to help support the bladder and prevent leakage.
  • Behavioral therapies: These can include weight loss (to reduce pressure on organs and tissues), eating a high-fiber diet, and quitting caffeine.
  • Surgery: This can include vaginal sling procedures to close the urethra and bladder neck, retropubic suspension surgery to lift a sagging bladder neck and urethra, and others.

Urinary Incontinence - Risks & Causes

Summary: 

While the likelihood of experiencing urinary incontinence increases with age, it is not considered normal by any means, and can interfere with work, socializing, exercise, and sexual function.

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Urinary Incontinence - Symptoms & Evaluation

Summary: 

Patients with stress urinary incontinence experience leakage of a small to moderate amount of urine with activity.

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Urinary Incontinence - Treatment Options

Summary: 

Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for urinary incontinence, depending on which form of incontinence the patient is diagnosed with.

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Physicians & Faculty

Dr. Patrick Culligan, MD | Cornell Urology

Patrick J. Culligan

M.D.

646.962.9600
646.962.9600
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS Pathway X, EBCBS Pathway X Enhanced, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Fidelis Care, GHI, Health First, Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], POMCO, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Community Plan - Essential Plan, UHC Community Plan - Medicaid Plan, UHC Compass-HMO, UHC Medicare, United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
Center for Female Pelvic Health
Dr. Alexis E. Te, M.D. | Cornell Urology

Alexis E. Te

M.D.

646.962.4811
646.962.4811
Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, CIGNA, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, POMCO, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, United Healthcare Commercial
The Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center
Dr. Bilal Chughtai, M.D.

Bilal Chughtai

M.D.

646.962.4811
646.962.4811
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Affinity Access, Affinity Essential, Affinity Health Plan, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Fidelis Care, Health First, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid], Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare], Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass-HMO, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
The Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center

Tanaka J. Dune

MD, FACOG

(646) 962-9600
(646) 962-9600
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS Pathway X, EBCBS Pathway X Enhanced, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Fidelis Care, GHI, Health First, Medicare, NY State Medicaid, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Oxford Medicare, POMCO, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
Center for Female Pelvic Health
Dr. Richard K. Lee, M.D. | Cornell Urology

Richard Lee

M.D., M.B.A.

646.962.4811
646.962.4811
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Affinity Access, Affinity Essential, Affinity Health Plan, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Fidelis Care, Health First, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass-HMO, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
Brady Urologic Health Center

Alfred Winkler

MD, MBA

(646) 962-9600
(646) 962-9600
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Affinity Access, Affinity Health Plan, Amida Care, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS Pathway X, EBCBS Pathway X Enhanced, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Fidelis Care, GHI, Health First, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid], Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare], Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], POMCO, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Health Care [Community Plan], United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology – Lower Manhattan
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