The Different Types of Urinary Incontinence Include Stress, Urge, Overflow and More
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Different Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence refers to the leakage of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, jogging, or doing anything that causes the abdominal pressure transmitted to the bladder pressure to be stronger than the bladder’s closure mechanism (urethral sphincter).

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is caused by sudden involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle and is associated with a strong desire to urinate and the inability to delay voiding long enough to get to a toilet. For this type, there is usually a small amount of urine loss at one time.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is the frequent leakage of urine without the urge to void or the inability to urinate normal volumes. The amount of urine that exceeds the bladder’s capacity leaks out, but the bladder remains full.

Total Incontinence

Total incontinence is the complete absence of control, either continuous leakage or periodic uncontrolled emptying of the bladder’s contents.

OAB: Is the medical term denoting a group of symptoms resulting from involuntary bladder spasm that includes frequency of urination especially at night and urgency with or without involuntary leakage. It may occur without an obvious cause or secondary to nervous diseases affecting the control of urination.

Mixed: Is a combination of the symptoms of stress and urgency incontinence

Functional: Those immobile who are not originally incontinent fail to get to the toilet on time and are placed in absorbent products and therefore are considered incontinent


Enuresis is the term most widely used to describe bedwetting in children who are old enough to be "potty trained", and adults who experience loss of bladder control at night.

There is much you can do to help your healthcare professional determine the type and cause of your incontinence.

Before your visit, prepare a list of all prescription and non-prescription medications which you are taking, or bring them with you. Also briefly describe your medical history, including information on any surgeries you may have had.

In addition, your healthcare professional will ask you questions about how much fluid you drink, and how, when and how many times you lose urine.

Once a complete history has been taken, you may find that special diagnostic studies, including urodynamic tests, are in order. The type and the cause of your incontinence will determine the appropriate treatment options.

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