You maybe have heard of incontinence, and if you haven’t we will talk about that, but did you know there are different types of urinary incontinence?

Hi, my name is Dr. Jenna Stasi, a pelvic floor physical therapist here at back in motion sport and spine physical therapy.

We defined urinary incontinence in last months blog post as “ANY involuntary loss of urine”. Meaning, any time that someone pees when they are not trying to.

Today we are going to break down the different types of urinary incontinence and why they occur.

The main types of urinary incontinence are

  1. Stress Incontinence

  2. Urge Incontinence

  3. Mixed Incontinence

  4. Functional Incontinence

Stress Inctoninence

Stress incontinence is what happens when we sneeze, cough, jump, or laugh and we leak urine. This is a very common type of urinary incontinence, especially in patients who are older or women who have had a baby. What happens In stress incontinence is that our pelvic floor muscles are not able to contract to hold back the increase in pressure in our abdomen. This causes urinary leakage because our muscles can’t stop us from peeing.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is what happens when we have the urge to pee but we just can’t quite make it to the bathroom in time. You might find that you dribble a little on your way to the bathroom, or you might find that once you have to go, you HAVE to go.

There may be no putting it off once you have to urinate. What happens in urge incontinence is that we have a lack of endurance in our pelvic floor muscles.

They are not able to contract and stay contracted to tell our bladder that we aren’t ready to urinate yet.

Mixed Incontinence

Mixed incontinence is exactly what it sounds like. It is a combination of stress and urge incontinence. It means that we have a little bit of problem in the strength or power of our pelvic floor muscles, and it means that we have a problem in how long our muscles can work for.

Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence is a little bit different.

Functional incontinence means that we have a different type of physical or mental limitation that prevents us from getting to the bathroom on time.

This could mean a lot of things but essentially there is a problem with how we move, like balance, pain, or injury, and we are not physically able to get to the bathroom or to a commode.

What Kind of Incontinence Do You Have?

How do you know what kind of incontinence you have?

It’s important to look at why and when you experience urinary leakage.

If you experience urinary incontinence, try to pay attention and even take note of the things that make you leak. If you leak without even realizing it or doing anything to cause it, it’s important to note that too.

Next time you speak with a pelvic floor physical therapist, they likely will ask you questions about what causes your leakage, so it will be helpful to have those answers on hand.

Still not sure what kind of urinary leakage you have and how to take care of it? Call our office today to schedule an appointment to end your urinary incontinence once and for all.

Stay tuned for next time, when we will talk about the 32 most frequently asked questions about pelvic floor physical therapy.

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