What Kind of Urinary Incontinence are You Experiencing?


Are you experiencing bladder leaks? There’s much more to understand about bladder leaks than the types, typically referred to as stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or overactive bladder.

Incontinence is a symptom, not a disease or condition. It is estimated that up to 50% of women have pelvic organ prolapse, which frequently causes incontinence. Women may report urine leakage to their physicians, but are typically given medications or treatments before being screened for, diagnosed with, or treated for POP. You may experience leakage upon coughing, sneezing, or other activities that increase pressure in your abdomen (stress urinary incontinence or SUI), a sudden or intense, repetitive urge to go immediately (urge urinary incontinence or UUI), a couple different types of incontinence at the same time (mixed urinary incontinence or MUI), your bladder may be completely full and urine leaks out because there is no room, or you don’t feel the urge to go as may occur in some disease processes such as multiple sclerosis (overflow incontinence or OI), you need and want to go, but can’t get to the bathroom in time (functional incontinence or FI), leakage during athletic activities (athletic incontinence or AI), or leakage during sex (coital incontinence or CI).

Here’s a few basics:

Urinary incontinence (also called UI) is accidental or involuntary leakage of urine from the bladder.

Urinary incontinence can vary in severity from a small leak that occurs when you cough or sneeze to the complete loss of a full bladder.

According to a 2019 updated Wolters Kluwer UpToDate academic paper Evaluation of Women with Urinary Incontinence, an estimated 50% of adult women experience urinary incontinence, but only 25 to 61 percent of those with symptoms seek care.

Females of all ages can experience urinary incontinence.

There are many treatments for incontinence such as bulking agents, injections, or medications, but it is important to explore whether you have pelvic organ prolapse prior to utilizing these types of treatments which may not address the appropriate cause of the incontinence if the cause is POP. Urinary incontinence will often improve simultaneously with pelvic organ prolapse treatment.