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Mayo Clinic on Incontinence

Strategies and treatments for improving bowel and bladder control

Paul Pettit, M.D. and Anita Chen, M.D.

  • Incontinence affects both men and women. However, it’s twice as common in women than in men.
  • Men and women tend to have different types of urinary incontinence because the main causes differ.
  • Urinary incontinence increases with age, but it isn’t a normal part of aging.



infoThe Facts


of adults in the United States experience urinary incontinence.

This easy-to-understand book is a source of hope and assurance for all individuals who experience bladder and bowel control problems. Its message is that incontinence isn’t something people need to live with; most incontinence can be improved or cured.

Mayo Clinic on Incontinence is a helpful resource to successfully manage urinary and fecal incontinence. It explains the causes of incontinence and helpful tips to relieve symptoms to enjoy a better quality of life. Each chapter provides strategies and advice to reduce or even eliminate bothersome symptoms, both for individuals recently diagnosed with incontinence as well as those who have lived with the condition for years. Behavior and lifestyle changes, medications, medical devices, and surgeries for urinary and fecal incontinence are discussed in detail.

2021 •  200 pages • Mayo Clinic Press

Paul Pettit, M.D.

Paul D. Pettit, M.D., is a gynecologic surgeon at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla., and an assistant professor of gynecology at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He is the director of the Gynecologic Continence Program at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville.

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Anita Chen, M.D.

Dr. Chen is a urogynecologist at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Dr. Chen is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

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