Main content

    Health Information

    Anatomical Incontinence in Women

    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
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
    Last Revised September 11, 2012

    Last Revised: September 11, 2012

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

    1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.