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Risk Factors Contributing To Incontinence

Smoking Is Risk Factor

There are a number of risk factors that contribute to incontinence.

Smoking is known to irritate the bladder in many people.

Excess body weight (fat) or obesity can reduce muscle tone, including the muscles used to control urination.

Chronic constipation can weaken muscles that control urination. This is due to the strain experienced when trying to pass bowels.

Obesity Can Be Risk Factor

Diabetes can interfere with sensation of bladder volume possible due to nerve damage.

Since signals travel between the spinal cord and the bladder, spinal cord damage can disrupt bladder function.

Persons with disabilities or conditions that impair mobility, such as such as arthritis can make movement difficult and increase the accidents before reaching the restroom.

Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or a stroke can cause incontinence. The problem can be a direct result of a disrupted nervous system or an indirect result of having restricted movement.


Surgery or radiation therapy of the pelvis area can also be a cause of incontinence.

Statistics show that 30% to 50% of women have problems with bladder control during pregnancy. Bladder control usually returns to normal after delivery. Still, up to 8% of pregnant women experience a resurgence of incontinence after delivery.

Women who have undergone a hysterectomy may develop incontinence later on.

An enlarged prostate can block the urethra thus causing a block in urine flow.

Over 80% of men who have undergone prostate surgery (removal of prostrate) have problems with incontinence.

At times, bladder cancer can cause incontinence.

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