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Types of Urinary Incontinence

As part of our Pelvic Health Program in Edmonton and St. Albert, we believe that a large part of our role is educating the public. More than 3.3 million Canadians are dealing with incontinence and yet there remains a stigma and embarrassment about the subject. Sadly, this might be keeping people from seeking and more importantly gaining the benefits of today’s available expertise, treatment and technology. We believe that the more we educate and create a conversation in this important area of health, the more we can make a real difference in the quality of life of people living with incontinence.

Urinary incontinence can effect women, men and children. It can be helped. We will focus this article on the various types.

1. Acute Incontinence

This type of incontinence comes on suddenly and is usually caused by a new illness or condition.

2. Chronic Incontinence

This type develops rather gradually over a period of time or remains after after a illness or condition has been treated.

a. Stress Incontinence

This type of incontinence is defined as an involuntary loss of urine associated with a rise in pressures in the abdomen. Examples of this “pressure increase” occur with coughing, sneezing, laughing, sports and other activities like jumping or running.

b. Urge Incontinence

With this diagnosis, a person will complain of involuntary leakage of urine accompanied by or immediately PRECEDED by a strong desire to void.

  • Sensory Urgency: a severe urge to void at low bladder volumes – there is typically no leak but severe frequency and urgency. A person feels the need to go frequently or urgently but can usually still “hold it.”
  • Motor Urgency: uninhibited detrusor (bladder) contraction (unable to “hold it”) in a person who develops urgency and there is leakage with these contractions.
  • Overactive Bladder: Unstable detrusor (bladder) contractions lead to sudden unexpected urge to void (“go”) in a sensory and motor combined manner. Typically, a person will go to the washroom more than 8 times in a 24 hour period and more than 2 times at night. (Normal is to go 1 time in a 4 hour period)

c. Overflow Incontinence

In this situation, the bladder doesn’t empty normally and becomes very full and distended. There is constant loss of a small volume or urine (like a dribble) and the bladder may never feel completely relieved.

d. Functional Incontinence

A patient with functional incontinence has the loss of urine associated with an inability, unwillingness to void (“go”) or environmental barriers. Examples are patients with impaired mental status or a personal with physical disability or impairment.

If this is you?

Our Pelvic Health program offers today’s innovations, technology, training and caring experts who will work with you to deal with incontinence in an amazing environment. Check out our pelvic health program or contact us today!
Life shouldn’t be Incontinent… Don’t get embarrassed when you can get treated.

In Health, Grant Fedoruk

Disclaimer:  no information on this page is meant to replace or appear to provide care that is best provided by medical professionals. 


Overflow incontinence, Pelvic health, Pelvic Health Edmonton, Pelvic Health St. Albert, Stress incontinence, Types of incontinence, Urge Incontinence

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