Urinary Incontinence Types, Diagnosis, and Causes
Types of Incontinence
Stress Incontinence Definition and Causes
Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence. It occurs when the internal sphincter muscles do not close completely around the bladder neck. Activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects apply pressure to a full bladder and cause urine to leak.
Women are more prone to stress incontinence during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Prostate surgery and radiation treatment are the primary causes of stress incontinence in men.
Urge Incontinence Definition and Causes
Urge incontinence occurs when an overactive bladder contracts involuntarily and causes urine to leak, sometimes in large amounts. Bladder or prostate infection, bladder cancer, or kidney stone disease can irritate the bladder lining and trigger overactivity.
Neurological conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis affect communication between the brain and bladder and cause the bladder to contract inappropriately.
Overflow Continence Definition and Causes
Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder is allowed to become so full that it simply overflows. When bladder nerves are damaged due to illness or injury, they may not recognize when the bladder is full.
Blockage or narrowing of the bladder outlet by cancer or scar tissue may prevent normal emptying of the bladder. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) can also cause such blockage. For this reason, overflow incontinence is more common in men than in women.