Urine leakage has many possible causes.
Most bladder control problems are caused by weak pelvic muscles. These muscles may become stretched and weak during pregnancy and childbirth. Weak muscles let the bladder sag out of position, which may stretch the opening to the urethra.
Two anatomical drawings of a bladder. The bladder on the left has weak pelvic floor muscles that allow urine to escape. Labels point to the bladder, urine, urethra (open), and weak pelvic muscles. The bladder on the right has strong pelvic floor muscles that keep urine from escaping. Labels point to the bladder, urine, urethra (closed), and strong pelvic muscles.
Weak pelvic muscles and strong pelvic muscles.
Damaged nerves may send signals to the bladder at the wrong time. As a result, a bladder spasm may push out urine without warning. Sometimes damaged nerves send no signals at all, and the brain can’t tell when the bladder is full. Nerves can be damaged by diseases or trauma.
Diseases and conditions that can damage the nerves include
o multiple sclerosis
Trauma that can damage the nerves includes
o pelvic or back surgery
o herniated disc
Medicines, alcohol, and caffeine
Leaking can happen when medicines affect any of the muscles or nerves. You may take medicine to calm your nerves so that you can sleep or relax. This medicine may dull the nerves in the bladder and keep them from signaling the brain when the bladder is full. Without the message and urge, the bladder overflows. Drinking alcohol can also cause these nerves to fail. Water pills—diuretics—take fluid from swollen areas of your body and send it to the bladder. This rapid filling may cause the bladder to leak. Caffeine drinks such as coffee and cola also cause the bladder to fill quickly. Make sure your drinks are decaf.
A urinary tract infection can irritate bladder nerves and cause the bladder to squeeze without warning. This type of incontinence goes away once the infection has been cured.
Being overweight can put pressure on the bladder and contribute to stress incontinence.