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Urinary Incontinence – Types

May 3, 2021


"In women, there are four types of bladder leakage. The first is stress urinary incontinence. Symptoms of stress urinary incontinence are leaking with coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. This type of leaking happens when a pressure in your abdomen pushes out the urine because the urethra is not strong enough to hold it in. This frequently starts happening after a pregnancy and delivery and happens because the urethra is no longer well supported. The second type of leaking is urgency urinary incontinence. Symptoms of urgency urinary incontinence are needing to go all the time, needing to go very urgently, and starting to leak before you can get to the bathroom. This happens because your bladder muscle is squeezing the urine out when you're not ready for it to. And your bladder is responding to other symptoms or other signals besides your brain telling your bladder to empty. This is more common as we get older. It happens for idiopathic reasons, meaning we don't really know why it happens. It can also happen with different neurologic syndromes. The third type of leaking is mixed urinary incontinence. And women that have mixed urinary incontinence have both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence. So mixed urinary incontinence is both of these together. And so you have leaking with coughing, sneezing, exercise, as well as feeling like you can't quite get there on time. The fourth type of leaking is overflow leaking. And overflow is when you're not emptying well. Usually when this happens, you don't realize that you're not emptying well. And so your bladder just fills up and then over time, urine kind of sloshes out. Symptoms of overflow incontinence are usually feeling like you are leaking without rhyme or reason, and just leaking all of the time. And those are the four types of bladder leakage that women commonly experience."

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