Types of Incontinence

Stress incontinence

Occurs when the pressure inside your filled bladder is greater than the strength of your urethra to stay closed (the urethra is the tube through which urine passes out of your body). Any sudden extra pressure on your bladder, such as laughing or sneezing, can then cause urine to leak out of your urethra. Your urethra may not be able to stay closed if the muscles in your pelvis floor muscles are weak or damaged, or your urethral sphincter (the ring of muscle that keeps the urethra closed) is damaged.

Urge incontinence

The frequent need to pass urine can be caused by a problem with the detrusor muscle on the wall of your bladder. These muscles relax to allow the bladder to fill, then contract to let the urine out in the toilet. Sometimes the detrusor muscles contract too often, creating an urgent need to go to the toilet. This is known as having an “overactive bladder”.

Overflow incontinence

Also called chronic urinary retention, is often caused by a blockage or obstruction to your bladder where you won’t be able to empty it completely. Other causes include pressure building in your bladder and by the detrusor muscles not fully contracting.

Functional incontinence

Occurs when there’s physical barriers or mental impairment that keeps the person from making it to the restroom. Functional incontinence can be caused by:

Environmental barriers going to the restroom

Neurological or muscular limitations, such as arthritis may affect the ability to go to the bathroom or remove clothing on time

Cognitive issues, including forms of dementia, delirium, and intellectual disabilities

Risk Factors

Risk factors that can cause urinary incontinence include:

Family history
there might be a genetic link to urinary incontinence, so you may be more at risk if other people in your family have experienced similar problems.

Increasing age
urinary incontinence becomes increasingly common as you reach middle age and is particularly common for people over 80.

Having lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)
a range of symptoms that affect the bladder and urethra.