Urinary incontinence is a common problem that affects many women. It refers to the leakage of urine and can vary in severity and frequency. Living with urinary incontinence can be challenging, leading to social limitations and embarrassment. However, there are numerous treatment options available to improve your quality of life. At Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, we provide comprehensive care and support for women dealing with urinary incontinence.

Signs and Symptoms

Urinary incontinence is often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including urgency (strong urge to urinate), frequency (urinating more often than usual), nocturia (waking up at night to urinate), dysuria (painful urination), and nocturnal enuresis (urine leakage during sleep).

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Based on the signs and symptoms, urinary incontinence can be classified into three main types:

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): This type involves leakage of urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, walking, running, or exercising.

Urgency Urinary Incontinence: It is characterized by a sudden, intense urge to urinate that is difficult to control. Women with this type may experience urine leakage on the way to the bathroom. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a related condition characterized by urgency and frequency, with or without incontinence.

Mixed Incontinence: This type combines symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence.


Urinary incontinence can have multiple causes, often involving a combination of factors. Some common causes include urinary tract infections (UTIs), diuretic medications, pelvic floor disorders, constipation, neuromuscular problems (e.g., diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis), and anatomical problems resulting from bladder stones, growths, or abnormal connections (fistulas).


To diagnose urinary incontinence, a medical history and physical examination are usually conducted. Additional tests, such as imaging and bladder function tests, may be performed if more information is required. Medical history involves discussing your symptoms in detail, and you may be asked to maintain a bladder diary to track urination patterns and leakage episodes. A pelvic exam, cough test, pad test, and urethral support assessment may be conducted to evaluate the condition further.


Seeking treatment for urinary incontinence is a personal decision, and Burjeel Hospital is here to provide the support you need. Treatment options depend on the type of incontinence and your treatment goals. Nonsurgical treatments are often recommended initially and may include lifestyle changes, bladder training, physical therapy, and the use of bladder support devices. Medications can help manage urgent urinary incontinence and overactive bladder symptoms. In some cases, surgical procedures, such as slings, colposuspension, and urethral bulking, may be considered for stress urinary incontinence. For urgent urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, nerve stimulation techniques like sacral neuromodulation or percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PINS) may be explored.

Lifestyle Changes

Implementing certain lifestyle changes can significantly reduce urine leakage. These changes include weight loss for overweight women, managing fluid intake, and training your bladder to increase the time between urinations.

Pelvic Floor Exercises and Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegel exercises, are effective in strengthening the pelvic muscles and treating various types of incontinence. If performing Kegel exercises is challenging, a physical therapist specializing in women’s pelvic health can provide assistance. Biofeedback, using sensors placed inside or outside the vagina, can help locate the correct muscles and ensure the exercises are done correctly. Pessaries, inserted into the vagina, offer support for pelvic support problems and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Medications are available to control muscle spasms and relax the bladder, while surgical options exist for stress and urgent urinary incontinence.