Types of Urinary Incontinence


Types list: The list of types of Urinary Incontinence mentioned in various sources includes:

  • Stress incontinence - incontinence when you cough, sneeze or exert; due to weakness of pelvic floor muscles from exercise or physical exertion
  • Urge incontinence - bladder emptying on its own; leakage with a sudden urge to urinate.
  • Functional incontinence - problems with the functional or physical ability to get to the bathroom in time.
  • Overflow incontinence - loss of the ability to sense when you need to urinate.
  • Mixed incontinence - various combinations; especially combined urge and stress incontinence
  • Transient incontinence - a temporary form of incontinence
  • Bladder Incontinence (Pregnancy) - the common incontinence of pregnant women.
  • Urinary incontinence in children - child bedwetting is rarely a long-term problem.
  • Bedwetting
  • Primary enuresis
  • Secondary enuresis
  • Nocturnal enuresis - during sleep at night.
  • Diurnal enuresis - during the day when awake.

Types discussion:

The Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress Leakage of small amounts of urine during physical movement (coughing, sneezing, exercising)
Urge Leakage of large amounts of urine at unexpected times, including during sleep
Functional Untimely urination because of physical disability, external obstacles, or problems in thinking or communicating that prevent a person from reaching a toilet
Overflow Unexpected leakage of small amounts of urine because of a full bladder
Mixed Usually the occurrence of stress and urge incontinence together
Transient Leakage that occurs temporarily because of a condition that will pass (infection, medication)

The most common types of urinary incontinence are:

Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or other body movements that put pressure on the bladder. It is the most common type of incontinence and can almost always be cured.

Urge incontinence happens if you can't hold your urine long enough to reach a toilet. Although healthy people can have urge incontinence, it is often found in people who have diabetes, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis. It can also be a warning sign of early bladder cancer. In men, it is often a sign of an enlarged prostate.

Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. In older men, this can occur when the flow of urine from the bladder is blocked. Some people with diabetes also have this problem.

Functional incontinence happens in many older people who have relatively normal urine control but who have a hard time getting to the toilet in time because of arthritis or other crippling disorders.2

1. excerpt from Urinary Incontinence in Women: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Urinary Incontinence - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: Oct 30, 2003

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