Urinary Incontinence

A lady holding her hands over her groin

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. It is NOT something that you have to live with. There are 2 main types of incontinence.

Stress urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. It occurs when the pressure in the belly increases. It is common in women after childbirth or in those who are obese.

Urgency incontinence is the leak that occurs after a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. Leakage typically occurs as you’re running to the toilet. This is typically due to an overactive bladder. Patients with both symptoms of stress incontinence and urgency incontinence have something called Mixed Incontinence.

Overflow Incontinence occurs in people who do not empty their bladder well.

Causes include:

  • Age
  • Childbirth
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Neurologic disorders such as MS, Parkinson’s disease, or spinal cord injury


History and physical exam

Some studies may be ordered, depending on your history, including:

  • Urine flow tests
  • Urine sample
  • Ultrasound
  • Urodynamic testing
  • Cystoscopy

Treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence.

Options include:

  • Healthy bladder habits
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy
  • Medication
  • Urinary catheters
  • Surgery

More Information:

North Island Urology: Male Incontinence, Female Incontinence

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Mayo Clinic: Click Here