What is the prognosis of urinary incontinence?

Updated: Mar 19, 2019
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print
Answer

The prognosis of a patient with incontinence is excellent with current health care. With improvement in information technology, well-trained medical staff, and advances in modern medical knowledge, patients with incontinence should not experience the morbidity and mortality of the past. Although the ultimate well-being of a patient with urinary incontinence depends on the precipitating condition, urinary incontinence itself is easily treated and prevented by properly trained health care personnel.

In stress incontinence, the improvement rate with alpha-agonists is 19-74%; improvement rates with muscle exercise and surgery, improvement rates are 87% and 88%, respectively. [47] In urge incontinence, the improvement rate is higher with bladder training (75%) than with the use of anticholinergics (44%). Surgical options for urge incontinence are limited and have a high morbidity.

In mixed incontinence, bladder training and pelvic exercises result in higher improvement rate than the use of anticholinergic medications. In overflow incontinence, medications and surgery are very effective in improving symptoms.

Without effective treatment, urinary incontinence can have an unfavorable outcome. Prolonged contact of urine with the unprotected skin causes contact dermatitis and skin breakdown. If left untreated, these skin disorders may lead to pressure sores and ulcers, possibly resulting in secondary infections.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!