The Different Types of Urinary Incontinence

If you can’t control the release of urine from your bladder, you have urinary incontinence. This condition occurs to many women from time to time, particularly after childbirth. For some women, however, the problem can be frequent and ongoing.

Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can often help those who suffer from urinary incontinence regain control over their bladders and lives. But dealing with urinary incontinence often depends on the type of incontinence you have.

In this blog, the providers at Southeast Urogyn in Jackson, Mississippi, explain the different types of this common condition. 

The six types of urinary incontinence

If you have urinary incontinence, it’s important to know which type you have, because treatment will depend on what’s causing it. There are six kinds of incontinence, and they are as follows:

1. Stress incontinence

If sneezing, laughing, coughing, or other activity causes a sudden leak of urine, you likely have stress incontinence. This is common after childbirth, due to the stress put on the pelvic muscles.

Your chances of developing stress incontinence can increase with age, too, due to weakening of these same muscles. Often, only a small amount of urine leaks. However, if the condition gets worse, you might not be able to hold back the full flow.  

2. Urge incontinence

Feeling the urge to urinate even though your bladder isn’t full is called urge incontinence, sometimes referred to as overactive bladder. Typically, it becomes a problem when the sudden urge to urinate interrupts your activities. Leakage can result if you can’t get to the bathroom in time. 

3. Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a condition in which your bladder doesn’t empty completely. Because of this, your bladder can get too full, and urine can leak out, with or without you sensing an urge to go to the bathroom. Overflow incontinence can result from nerve damage, such as diabetic neuropathy. 

4. Reflex incontinence

Also involving nerve issues, reflex incontinence is usually experienced as a side effect of a serious neurological condition, such as spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis. With reflex incontinence, a person experiences a sudden loss of urine due to a spasm of the bladder muscles. Often, there is no urge to go to the bathroom prior to the leakage.

5. Functional incontinence

Some incontinence issues don’t originate with the urinary system. People with mobility issues can have normally functioning bladders, but they may be physically unable to get themselves to the bathroom in time. This is called functional incontinence. Medications that cause overproduction of urine can result in functional bladder leaks, and this can be eased with treatment changes. 

6. Mixed incontinence

Typically referring to patients with both stress and urge incontinence symptoms, mixed incontinence covers any situation where you have more than one type of incontinence.

If you have incontinence and want treatment, come to the experts at Southeast Urogyn. A provider will give you a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan to help you get well. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone today.

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