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Common Problems of Urination in Nonpregnant Women: Causes, Current Management, and Prevention Strategies


  • Katharine K. O'Dell CNM,

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    • Katharine O'Dell, CNM, who graduated from Frontier School of Midwifery in 1978, is a faculty member at University of Massachusetts Medical School and a doctoral student at University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Nursing.

  • Lisa C. Labin MD

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    • Lisa Labin, MD, is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and a second-year Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Fellow at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.

Jaquith Building 434, OB/GYN Department, Memorial Campus, UMMHC, 119 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA 01605. E-mail:


This article uses a case-based approach to review common problems of urination in nonpregnant women, including overactive bladder; stress, urge, and mixed incontinence; and retention and prolapse. Up-to-date clinical issues related to assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up are reviewed, with a discussion of underlying pathophysiology and prevention strategies. Suggestions are made for relevant curriculum content at both the basic and advanced levels of advanced practice education.