Urinary Incontinence and bladder weakness can have many causes, understanding your bladder control and leakage symptoms is easier if you understand how the normal bladder works.
The bladder is the sac where urine is stored. It’s the size and shape of a grapefruit and can hold about 300–500 ml of fluid. Urine is filtered by the kidneys and drains into the bladder through two tubes called ureters. From the bladder, urine leaves the body through the urethra. Together, this group of organs and tubes is called the urinary tract.
The wall of the bladder is made of several layers. The thickest of these layers is called the detrusor muscle. As the bladder fills up, the bladder wall expands. When it’s time to urinate, the detrusor muscle contracts to push the urine out.
The urethral sphincter is a ring of muscle that surrounds the urethra and controls the flow of urine from the bladder. When the urinary sphincter is contracted, urine can’t pass through; when it relaxes, urine is released. It is important to maintain optimal bladder health to ensure that it functions as intended and to maintain healthy bladder control.