Health Library

Anatomical Incontinence in Women

Topic Overview

Anatomical incontinence is the involuntary release of urine related to structural problems of the urinary tract that affect the urine flow. Anatomical incontinence may be present from birth (congenital).

The main symptom of anatomical incontinence is an almost continual release of urine.

Anatomical incontinence is caused by structural problems in the urinary tract that allow urine to leak past the muscle (sphincter) that retains urine in the bladder. These problems include:

  • An abnormal pouch (diverticulum) in the wall of the urethra. Urine can become trapped in the pouch and then leak out.
  • An abnormal opening between the bladder and vagina (vesicovaginal fistula) or between a ureter and the vagina (ureterovaginal fistula).

Treatment of anatomical incontinence concentrates on correcting the structural problem that is interfering with the bladder's retention of urine.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last Revised September 11, 2012

Last Revised: September 11, 2012

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