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Types of Incontinence

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

types of incontinenceWhat are the types of incontinence?


Incontinence is involuntary urination. Whenever urine escapes against your will, whether it is just a drop, or a flood, that is incontinence. Women of any age can experience incontinence. Pregnancy, uterine prolapse, menopause, and other gynecological conditions can cause or worsen incontinence. It is embarrassing and can have a negative impact on one’s lifestyle, so women who suffer from incontinence naturally want to learn what the source of the problem is and how to treat it.

There are several types of incontinence. You may have one type or multiple types at the same time. Treatments vary depending on the type or types you have.
  • Stress Incontinence: The involuntary loss of urine during periods of increased abdominal pressure (events that put "stress" on the bladder). Such events include laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy objects.
  • Urge Incontinence: The sudden need to urinate and inability to make it to a bathroom before doing so. Also called "overactive bladder."
  • Overflow Incontinence: Leakage that occurs when the amount of urine exceeds the bladder's capacity.
  • Mixed Incontinence: When more than one type of incontinence is present--often refers to both stress and urge.
  • Irritable Bladder: Involuntary contractions of muscles in the bladder, which can cause lack of control of urination.
  • Frequency: The need to urinate more often than normal (more than every 2 hours or more than 7 times a day).

If you are experiencing incontinence, consult with your doctor to determine which type or types you have. He or she will have some treatment options for you. If your incontinence is temporary or light, you can probably get by for some time using panty liners or pads to deal with any small leakage. Crossing your legs before sneezing, coughing, or laughing can help prevent leakage. Kegel exercises might strengthen the muscles that control urination enough to restore some control of urination as well. But if your incontinence is constant or excessive, you can explore surgical options such as slings to help you regain control of your bladder.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-06-2011 - 04:31 AM


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