Urinary incontinence can occur for a number of different reasons, from a weakened urinary sphincter to having a bladder that is simply too full. It’s important to remember that incontinence is not a disease in itself, but it can be a symptom of another underlying condition. There are also different types of incontinence that can all have their own causes.
Stress incontinence occurs when there is pressure placed on the bladder. This pressure can come from sneezing, laughing, coughing, or any other movements that put strain on a bladder. This can happen in men who have had their prostate removed or who have undergone radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Stress incontinence is also common in women who have undergone physical changes from pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause.
Urge incontinence is having the urge to urinate that is so strong that you cannot make it a toilet in time. Your bladder squeezes when it shouldn’t, such as when it is only holding a small amount of urine. This can be caused by certain medications such as diuretics as well as medical conditions that affect the nervous system such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder is so full that it overflows. This is usually because of a blockage in the urethra, which can be caused by things such as tumors, urinary stones, or an enlarged prostate when it occurs in a man. A weakened bladder can also cause overflow incontinence, something that can occur with nerve damage from diabetes. This type of incontinence is relatively rare in women.
Total incontinence is when urine is leaking at all times. This is caused by a urinary sphincter muscle that no longer works.
As we’ve said before, urinary incontinence is usually a symptom of another underlying medical condition. Although there are medications, exercises, and treatments that can help incontinence, the underlying condition must be treated as well. Your doctor will be able to determine what is causing your incontinence and what can be done to address it.