Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress Incontinence
There are muscles in the floor of the pelvis and around the opening of the bladder that work together to hold urine from leaking out. Stress incontinence occurs when these muscles get weak or do not work properly. With stress incontinence you may notice leaking when you:

  • Cough
  • Sneeze
  • Laugh
  • Exercise
  • Lift heavy objects

Stress incontinence can be related to:
• Childbirth
• Menopause
• Chronic coughing
• Obesity

Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence occurs when there is a strong desire to void and the inability to wait or to get to a toilet in time. This happens because the bladder spasms and squeezes without warning or control.

Urge incontinence can be related to:

  • Not emptying your bladder often enough
  • Bladder infection
  • Inflammation of the bladder
  • Overactive bladder nerves and muscles
  • Menopause

Overflow Incontinence
Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder becomes overly full and involuntarily releases urine. This happens when the bladder muscle is too weak to empty the bladder completely or when there is an obstruction that blocks the urethra.

Overflow incontinence can be related to:

  • Weakness of the bladder muscle
  • Certain medications
  • Conditions that affect the nervous system
  • Blockage of the urinary tract

Functional Incontinence
Functional incontinence describes situations where bladder function is normal but continence is complicated by issues such as:

  • Barriers to the toilet
  • Lack of mobility
  • Trouble removing clothing

Mixed Incontinence
Mixed incontinence is when a person experiences more than one type of incontinence at the same time.