Types of Incontinence
When you're incontinent, you can't always control the release of urine. You may leak urine. Or you may not be able to "hold" your urine when you can't get to a bathroom. This happens because certain parts of the urinary system are not working right.
If you have stress incontinence, urine leaks out of the bladder during activity. Stress incontinence may occur temporarily in men after prostate surgery. It may also occur because the sphincter muscle is weak. Symptoms of stress incontinence include leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or lift something heavy.
If you have urge incontinence, your bladder feels full and pushes urine out, even when it's almost empty. An infection in your urinary tract, a nerve problem, surgery, or a growth in the bladder may be the cause. The main symptom is a frequent, sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. Urge incontinence is often referred to as an "overactive bladder."
If you have mixed incontinence, you have more than one type of incontinence occurring at the same time.
If you have overflow incontinence, the bladder doesn't empty normally and becomes very full. Urine may dribble out of the bladder frequently in small amounts. It may happen if something blocks the bladder opening or the urethra, or if nerve or muscle problems keep the bladder from contracting. You may need to urinate often, and your urine may trickle instead of flowing freely. The bladder may also never feel completely empty.