The Anatomy of Urinary Incontinence

A loss of bladder control is known as urinary incontinence, and there are many different reasons for this condition to occur. To understand how urinary incontinence happens, it is probably a good idea to understand how everything functions when it is working properly.

The bladder is the organ in your body that holds urine waiting to be voided. It is muscled and smooth and consists of a body and neck. The body of the bladder is the largest portion of the bladder, and its function is to hold the urine. The neck of the bladder is funnel shaped and protrudes from the body connecting the body of the bladder with the urethra.

The detrusor muscle is the muscle that makes up the bladder. Like any muscle it has fibers that are directed in every direction, and when these fibers contract they can impose a great deal of pressure on the bladder. On the back wall of the bladder above the neck two ureters empty into the bladder. The bladder neck muscle is referred to as the internal sphincter, which holds urine in the bladder keeping it from being emptied unless the contents of the bladder have reached critical mass.

The urethra passes through a layer of muscle, which is known as the external sphincter, which is a voluntary skeletal muscle. The external sphincter is controlled by the nervous system, and it is used to prevent urination, even when the internal sphincter is trying to empty the bladder.

Urinary incontinence occurs when one, or several, of the pieces of the anatomy is functioning improperly. When you suffer from urinary incontinence it is helpful to be able to picture how the bladder is supposed to work, so that you can understand where your body is running into trouble.

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