Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are 3 main types of Incontinence that can be treated at the Continence Clinic.

Stress Incontinence is the leakage of urine during cough, sneeze, laugh, physical activity such as exercise, lifting, walking etc. and changing position changes. All of these activities increase the pressure in the abdomen, putting downward pressure on the bladder, causing leakage to occur. It is the most common type of incontinence in women due to childbearing and in men following the removal of the prostate for prostate cancer. In the past, surgery was the only effective way to treat stress incontinence, but now behavioral therapy that involves the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles can be just as effective.

Urge Incontinence is the inability to hold urine long enough to reach the toilet. It is often accompanied by urgency and frequency of urination, (known as Overactive bladder). This loss of urine can also occur spontaneously without warning or the urge to urinate. It is characterized by the sudden loss of usually large amounts of urine that is often uncontrollable. This type of urinary incontinence can happen at any age, but is especially common in older adults due to the changes in the ability of the nerves to conduct messages between the bladder and the brain adequately. These changes occur as a natural part of aging and at different rates. Not all older adults experience overactive bladder symptoms. Certain medications can help control these symptoms, but can have many side effects. Behavioral therapy including dietary control and bladder retraining is a very effective treatment that endures and can be combined with medication if needed for optimum results.

Frequently, a person can experience a mixture of symptoms from both stress and urge incontinence. This mixture of symptoms is known as Mixed Incontinence. It can be treated as effectively as well with behavioral therapy known as Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation.