Types of Incontinence

Urinary incontinence could be of different types depending on the cause of the incontinence, namely:

  • Stress Incontinence: Stress incontinence tends to occur when there is a sudden increase in pressure in the abdominal area, which could be on account of actions such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or even while exercising. In stress incontinence, the pelvic floor tissues and muscles are weak and hence the urine tends to leak out.
  • Urge Incontinence: Urge incontinence is mostly on account of an overactive bladder wherein the person will feel the need to go to the toilet and may not reach the toilet in time resulting in the urine leaking out.
  • Over flow Incontinence: Another type of incontinence is known as overflow incontinence wherein the person is unable to empty the bladder appropriately, as a result of which there would be leakage of urine once the bladder is full. Overflow incontinence is more commonly observed in men as compared to women in the form of dribbling of urine.
  • Functional Incontinence: Sometimes physical problems such as arthritis or even certain cognitive problems such as dementia may result in a type of incontinence as they would prevent the person from getting to the bathroom in time. This is known as functional incontinence.
  • Anatomic or Developmental Abnormalities: Incontinence may also be on account of a neurological or physical abnormality. This anatomical abnormality is basically an abnormal opening that may be present between the fistula and the bladder which results in the formation of a leak in the urinary system.
  • Temporary Incontinence: Incontinence may also be a side effect of a specific medical condition or on account of the consumption of certain medication for an acute or chronic disease. This type of incontinence is temporary and will come and go from time to time.
  • Bed Wetting: Bed wetting is yet another form of incontinence that is observed in children up to five years of age. Bed wetting is also known as enuresis and in most cases is an inherited disorder. Bed wetting is basically on account of delay in the neurological control of the individual’s bladder.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Jacques Corcos, Sylvie Beaulieu, Jenny Donovan, Michelle Naughton, Momokazu Gotoh, MEMBERS of the SYMPTOM QUALITY OF LIFE ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION ON INCONTINENCE*, Quality of Life Assessment in Men and Women With Urinary Incontinence, The Journal of Urology, Volume 168, Issue 3, September 2002, Pages 896-905, ISSN 0022-5347, 10.1016/S0022-5347(05)64540-5.
  2. Geoffrey W. Cundiff, Robert L. Harris, Kimberly W. Coates, Richard C. Bump, Clinical predictors of urinary incontinence in women, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 177, Issue 2, August 1997, Pages 262-267, ISSN 0002-9378, 10.1016/S0002-9378(97)70185-6.
  3. Felix W. Leung, John F. Schnelle, Urinary and Fecal Incontinence in Nursing Home Residents, Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 697-707, ISSN 0889-8553, 10.1016/j.gtc.2008.06.005.