Harvard Women's Health Watch

Incontinence could increase odds of depression in women

The constant urge to use the bathroom—along with embarrassing leakage—can have a huge impact on your life. Incontinence might even make you depressed, according to a study published in April 2014 in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study, conducted by Dr. Kristin Hung and her colleagues at Harvard Medical School, included more than 4,500 women who were enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study. The women were interviewed every two years between 1996 and 2011.

The authors found that women with incontinence were more likely to have depression as well as work disability. Diagnosing and treating incontinence can have significant mental health benefits, the researchers wrote. Urinary incontinence is very treatable. If you're having trouble managing an overactive bladder or leakage, see your doctor. Therapies ranging from bladder training to Botox injections can effectively help reduce your urge to go.

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