Types of Incontinence

Many things can go wrong with the system that allows you to control urination or defecation is known as Incontinence. This incontinence is often an embarrassing problem, with urinary incontinence being more common.

Urinary incontinence refers to the leakage of urine (bladder leakage) when you actually do not want to. This condition arises when the control of the urinary sphincter becomes weak. The severity can range from leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden.

Whereas, fecal incontinence orbowel incontinence is an inability to control bowel movements causing the patient to pass unexpected stools

But, you may not be aware of the different types of incontinence. Well, the experts of incontinence at SMILES explain how the incontinence is divided and their possible causes.

Types of Incontinence

People with urinary incontinence may experience unintentional loss of urine more frequently. Here are 6 different types of incontinence that include:

1. Stress Incontinence

In stress incontinence, urine leakage happens when you put pressure on your bladder by physical activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, running or heavy lifting. Stress incontinence is not related to psychological stress. The most common causes of stress incontinence among women are pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

2. Urge Incontinence or Overactive bladder

Urge incontinence occurs when you have an intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Here, the bladder contracts causing some urine to leak through the sphincter muscles holding the bladder closed. This urge incontinence can cause due to an infection or a neurological disorder.

3. Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is involuntary leakage of urine due to weak bladder muscles or due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely. It can also occur when something blocks urine from flowing normally out of the bladder, as in the case of prostate enlargement which partially closes the urethra. The possible causes of overflow incontinence include bladder stones and conditions such as spinal cord injury, diabetes, and neurological damage.

4. Mixed Incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urges incontinence, it shares the symptoms of both. Most people with incontinence will experience mixed incontinence – a challenging situation. This mixed incontinence also occurs in men who have had prostate or surgery for an enlarged prostate.

5. Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence in which a person usually aware of the need to urinate. But, due to some physical or mental impairments, they are unable to get to the bathroom. Here, the loss of urine can vary from small leakages to full emptying of the bladder. The causes of functional incontinence can include immobility, Alzheimer’s disease or head injury.

6. Reflex incontinence

Reflex Incontinence occurs when the bladder muscle contracts and often leak urine(in large amounts) without any warning. Reflex (spastic bladder) incontinence can also happen when the bladder fills with urine and an involuntary reflex causes it to contract in an effort to empty the bladder. The most common cause of reflex incontinence is spinal cord injury above the T2 level.

Feeling uncomfortable discussing incontinence with your doctor? But, if incontinence is frequent and affecting your quality of life, it is important to seek medical advice. Consult the experts of incontinence at SMILES and prevent serious underlying conditions.