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What causes a leaky bladder?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of a leaky bladder, also known as urinary incontinence, include consumption of diuretic substances, urinary tract infections, constipation, menopause and an enlarged prostate, according to Mayo Clinic. Urinary incontinence may either be temporary or chronic depending on the cause.

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Full Answer

Diuretic substances, which increase urine production and stimulate the bladder, can cause temporary urinary incontinence, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Common diuretics include caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, citric fruits, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners and certain medications. Urinary tract infections cause irritation leading to the urgent need to urinate, which can lead to incontinence. Other symptoms include burning or pain during urination. When a patient becomes constipated, the hard stool can overactivate the nerves around the bladder, potentially leading to urgency and incontinence.

Deterioration of the urethra and bladder lining due to a lack of estrogen may occur during menopause, causing the bladder to leak, according to Mayo Clinic. The bladder muscle also weakens with age, further provoking the issue. An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a common cause of urinary incontinence in older men; however, prostate cancer can also cause this symptom. Anyone experiencing a leaky bladder should consult a medical professional for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment options.

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