Urinary Incontinence: Types

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Types of urinary incontinence

There are five major types of urinary incontinence:


When urine leakage happens when a person sneezes, coughs, laughs or lifts heavy objects, this is known as stress incontinence.


When a person’s need to urinate is sudden and irrepressible and needs to be immediately acted upon, it’s called urge incontinence.


This diagnosis covers the combination of stress incontinence and urgency incontinence.


More frequent in men than in women. Happens when there is a retention of urine in the bladder and the urine overflows.


Happens when there are mobility problems or environmental factors at play preventing the person from reaching the bathroom in time. Kegel exercises can help strengthen pelvic floor muscles to prevent leakage from happening.


Overactive bladder

If you often have sudden, strong urges to urinate, or you feel like you constantly want to urinate, you may be suffering from an overactive bladder, a common condition that is not a type of urinary incontinence. However, if in addition you experience accidental leakage due to the pressing need to urinate, your condition might be called urge incontinence. In both cases, treatments are available. Consult your healthcare professional or the site www.overactivebladder.ca.

In Canada, it’s estimated that one person out of five suffers from an overactive bladder.

You don’t need to live with an overactive bladder. There are solutions to help you! Talk about it with your doctor.

Next: How Does a Normal Bladder Work?


We are pleased to house this series of FAQs supervised by Cara Tannenbaum, from the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.

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