Types of Incontinence – Sometimes trying to learn about medical conditions from the internet can lead to misunderstanding and the wrong information.  But there is no reason not to know about clear conditions such as urinary incontinence.   As you learn about the different types of incontinence, it may feel like you can diagnose yourself. But it’s always good to talk to a qualified professional to get the help you need. Happy Valley Clinic in Utah County has a caring and knowledgeable staff that can help you know what type(s) of incontinence you have and what to do next.

Know there is a difference

The type of incontinence we hear about the most is called ‘stress incontinence.’ This looks like urine loss when you cough or sneeze. Sometimes it happens when you’re laughing or jumping, and sometimes when you’re sneezing. This problem can be caused by pregnancy, menopause, radiation to the pelvis, childbirth, and surgical trauma. Some have included obesity and some medications in the list of causes.

Another comment type of incontinence is urge incontinence. Whether there is incontinence or not, this term is used when you suddenly need to urinate and then have a large amount of urine loss.  This may also be caused by pregnancy and childbirth, but also neurologic diseases can bring this on. Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are two of the neurologic disorders that could cause this incontinence type. Sometimes damage to the bladder nerves or other parts of the nervous system or muscles may be part of the problem. Urge incontinence is also called OAB or overactive bladder.

Get Educated

Mixed incontinence is a combination of both Stress and Urge types of incontinence. It can be brought on by a variety of any of the issues listed above.

While pregnancy and childbirth are specific causes in females, incontinence is also an issue for men who have had an enlarged prostate. This can cause Overflow incontinence, which is a frequent dribble of urine because the bladder does not empty all the way. Other symptoms are just like stress incontinence. There are many causes for this incontinence, including spinal cord injury, diabetes, and the neurological diseases mentioned earlier.  This condition may also be caused by weak muscles, constipation, and certain medications.

There is only one type of incontinence that is caused by cognitive impairment. Functional incontinence is not associated with any physical problems in the urinary system. Alzheimer’s disease and head injury or immobility can cause functional incontinence also.

Types of IncontinenceTypes of Incontinence

The last kind is Reflex incontinence is also called the spastic bladder. It is when a full bladder empties because of an involuntary reflex. Doctors and researchers have pinpointed the causes as a spinal cord injury about the T-12 vertebrae.

Obviously, every one of these different types of incontinence can affect your enjoyment of life. If the incontinence you’re experiencing is not caused by physical damage or disease, making adjustments to your lifestyle may make a difference.


There are several treatment options available depending on which type of incontinence you’re experiencing.  Some of the most simple for women include pads or vaginal inserts; also Kegel (or pelvic floor) exercises. There is also timed voiding and bladder training, which may help. Some medications can help if the cause is an enlarged prostate. More invasive options include a pessary for women, and injections, catheters, or even surgery.

Wrapping up

It is essential to make sure you understand any disease or damage causing the type of incontinence you’re dealing with. At Happy Valley Clinic, the staff can identify what type(s) of incontinence you have and can help you decide the best course of action. Call today at (833) 336-6386.