Different types of incontinence

Different types of incontinence

Incontinence is a common problem and involves leaking urine between toilet visits. There are several different types of incontinence; here you can learn about some of the most common ones. 

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence and means that you leak urine when you do something physically strenuous. You may wet yourself when you laugh, when you cough, or when you stand up. Stress incontinence is often caused by a weakened pelvic floor, but there may be other causes as well, which you can read more about here.

Sometimes, we also call stress incontinence "exercise induced incontinence" because you often leak during exercise, but some people can also experience urine leakage when walking or whilst doing other less physically demanding activities. This can result in small splashes of urine without you even realising that you need to pee. Read more about stress incontinence here.

It is also possible to experience urine leakage when you have a cold or other illness. For example, if you sneeze a lot or have a cough, you may have a temporary stress urinary incontinence. Coughing and sneezing puts a lot of pressure on your bladder and can cause you to wet yourself. 

Urge incontinence 

Urge incontinence means that you suddenly feel the need to pee and have difficulties holding it in. You may need to pee more often than usual, and you often produce more urine with urge incontinence than with stress incontinence. Urge incontinence can be caused by age, neurological diseases, repeated urinary tract infections or medication. 

Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence simply means that you have a mix of stress and urge incontinence. This is especially common among older women. 

Take our test here to find out if you have stress incontinence, urge incontinence or mixed incontinence! 

Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is more common in men than women. If you have overflow incontinence, you have difficulty emptying your bladder completely, causing it to stretch. When the bladder becomes full, urine is forced out of the bladder through the prostate gland in small streams. This in turn can lead to kidney and bladder damage if not detected in time. 

Overactive bladder

An overactive bladder means that you often feel the need to pass urine, and does it more frequently, even at night. You may also leak urine occasionally. Older people can often experience this, but children and young people can also have an overactive bladder. 

You can manage the symptoms of your over active bladder with behavioural strategies such as bladder holding techniques and timed voiding, this vill eventually lead to less frequent urination. 

Want to read more about urinary incontinence? Read more here about what it is, who is affected and why. 

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