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Minding your well-being: The Health Page Series By Dr TW Changamire Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is leakage of urine. There is leakage of urine because there is an underlying condition that has affected your ability to control when you want to urinate. Urinary incontinence can cause embarrassment to those suffering from it. It severely affects quality of life and because of this it is important to discuss this with your doctor. Urinary incontinence affects both women and men. Causes of urinary incontinence in women may differ to the causes of urinary incontinence in men. The severity of urinary incontinence may range from leakage of small amounts of urine when coughing or sneezing (stress incontinence) to leakage of urine in large volumes before you can get to the toilet. The probability of incontinence increases with age. This is because muscles and connective tissue loosen as we age. We cannot prevent the occurrence of urinary incontinence but when it does occur we can investigate and treat the reversible causes of incontinence or improve the symptoms of non-reversible urinary incontinence, to improve overall quality of life. Stress incontinence has been said to occur when sneezing or coughing.