According to yahoo health, Researchers in Australia surveyed more than 1,000 women aged 16 to 30 who had never been pregnant and found that one in eight, or nearly 13 percent, reported having urinary incontinence.

So why do some women develop incontinence at a young age – and is there anything they can do to protect themselves?

Well, experts suspect that some women have a predisposition to developing urinary incontinence, possibly due to certain characteristics they were born with – such as a weak pelvic floor.The pelvic floor muscles form a sling-like band at the base of the pelvis. They support the bladder and bowel and help control the openings to these organs (ie the uretha and anus).It's also suspected that some women naturally have poor bladder control – possibly due to a hormonal imbalance – and this can manifest when they are children.In the recent study, women who reported wetting the bed after the age of five were more likely to be incontinent as young adults, suggesting they may have a problem with the hormones that control fluid retention and bladder function.

Can acupuncture help?How is acupuncture for this condition?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine. This is a very common problem affecting millions of people. Stress urinary incontinence is cause by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles cannot prevent urination causing urine to leak when the bladder is under pressure, for example, when you cough. There was a protocol to treat stress urinary incontinence in women. This protocol is used for a trial to study efficacy and safety of acupuncture on stress urinary incontinence by Liu Z from China. 500 women will be recruited and allocated into two groups acupuncture group and control group. Electroacupuncture will be used for treatment group. Women in acupuncture group will receive deep needling at acupuncture points BL33 and BL35. Control group will receive sham acupuncture with non-penetrating needling at sham location. Acupuncture will be given three sessions a week for 6 weeks. After that a 24 week followup will be conducted. The safety of acupuncture will be evaluated as well. This trial will be help to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture for stress urinary incontinence.

Acupuncture can also help to stimulate the muscles in order to strengthen them and encourage proper functioning, thereby improving urinary incontinence. However, an acupuncturist also takes the treatment one step further, to look at the underlying health factors in the body that may be causing these muscles to function poorly or improperly. This is particularly the case with chronic conditions or internal problems that take time to develop- an internal problem over time will lead to the development of outward symptoms. Urinary incontinence typically involves the body’s energy being weak or deficient in one of the meridian systems that are responsible for the body’s proper functions.

To explore the effectiveness and significance of whether electrical acupuncture stimulation combining with pelvic floor muscle therapy (PFMT) can improve the recovery of urinary continence,Chinese Shanghai Medical College has done a new research about urinary incontinence acupuncture treatment.A total of 109 patients took part in the study of novel combination treatment for urinary continence from September 2008 to September 2009.

Chinese researchers found Electrical acupuncture stimulation therapy combining with PFMT can improve the recovery of patients' urinary continence after radical prostatectomy.
Reference:Yang BS, Ye DW, Yao XD, Peng JY, Zhang SL, Dai B, Zhang HL, Shen YJ, Zhu Y, Zhu YP, Shi GH.Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2010 Sep;48(17):1325-1327

Another important condition--Fecal incontinence is more common in older adults, and although it affects women more commonly, men can also suffer from this disorder. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including damage to the pelvic nerves or muscles from trauma such as childbirth, and anal or rectal surgery; diseases like diabetes; or complications from radiation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that more than 18 million Americans have fecal incontinence, yet Loyola doctors believe it is much higher.Fecal incontinence isn't something that people talk about, yet we know from our practice that it is extremely common.