URINARY INCONTINENCE--LEAKAGE OF URINE FROM THE BLADDER THAT CANNOT BE CONTROLLED--IS A PROBLEM THAT AFFECTS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.
There are three types of incontinence: stress, urge, and overflow, and they are the same symptom of different causes.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
The most common type of urinary incontinence, overflow is the inability of the sphincter muscle — the muscle that relaxes to allow a person to urinate — to completely contract and close off flow following urination.
When a person is in a situation that stresses the body — fear, laughing, coughing, exerting tremendous energy — the result can be leakage. Athletes and people who work in jobs that are extremely labor intensive often suffer from stress incontinence.
The most embarrassing and unpredictable type, leakage from urge incontinence occurs shortly after a person feels the sensation indicating the need to urinate. What makes this type so difficult to deal with is that it can lead to large amounts of leakage and can happen almost instantaneously.
When Urinary Incontinence is a Concern
Whenever leakage becomes a noticeable, recurring issue seek the advice of a doctor. While leakage may simply be the symptom of a sedentary lifestyle—meaning you need to exercise more regularly—there are other instances when urinary incontinence is the symptom of a more serious issue that needs to be addressed.