Urinary Incontinence & Overactive Bladder

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Urinary Incontinence & Overactive Bladder

Urinary incontinence (UI) and overactive bladder (OAB) all cause urinary difficulties. Urinary incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine control. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, millions of adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence, making it quite common. Urinary incontinence can strike at any age, although women over age 50 are the most likely to develop UI. According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms.

Many women living with symptoms related to urinary incontinence or overactive bladder don't ask for help simply because they are embarrassed, do not know how to talk to their provider about their symptoms or have misconceptions regarding treatment. We encourage you to talk to your UCLA provider regarding an evaluation.

The Center for Women's Pelvic Health at UCLA provides a full range of individualized treatment options for:

Recurrent urinary tract infections are common in women.  A urinary tract infection is considered recurrent in women who have been adequately treated for an infection and then it returns after symptoms have resolved.  Women who have more than 2 urinary tract infections in 6 months or more than 3 urinary tract infections in a year should seek medical help.

What causes recurrent urinary tract infections?

The anatomy of the female urinary tract is in close proximity to the anal opening.  Fecal bacteria can colonize the vagina and distal urethra (end of the urethra).  The bacteria can then ascend into the urinary bladder causing an infection. 

However, if you are experiencing recurrent infections, other medical causes need to be excluded. 

A full evaluation for recurrent urinary tract infections will include a detailed medical history and focused genitourinary examination.  Based on your consultation, other diagnostic tests may need to be performed.  For instance, a bladder ultrasound to evaluate residual urine volume may be performed as well as cystoscopy (evaluation of the bladder with a camera).