Potential causes of bladder leakage or urinary incontinence in women include weak muscles in the lower urinary tract, damage to the urinary tract and damage to the nerves that control the urination process, according to WebMD. These problems may result from urinary tract infections, certain medications, constipation, emotional stress and other issues.
Stress incontinence is the most common ongoing bladder control issue in women, causing leakage when pressure is placed on the bladder, states WebMD. Potential causes include weight gain, childbirth and other conditions that stretch the pelvic floor muscles. Urge incontinence results from an overactive bladder muscle and leads to bladder leakage whenever the patient has the urge to urinate but can't get to a restroom in time. Although doctors are often unable to determine an exact cause, potential causes include emotional stress, bladder irritation and certain conditions that affect the brain, such as a stroke.
Other potential causes of urinary incontinence include pregnancy, menopause, a previous hysterectomy, aging and obstruction in the urinary tract, according to Mayo Clinic. In cases of short-term urinary incontinence, constipation may be the cause, as the rectum shares nerves with the urinary system. A urinary tract infection can also cause incontinence in addition to the strong urge to urinate due to bladder irritation.