Understanding the 4 Types of Urinary Incontinence

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Do you hunt for the nearest restroom everywhere you go? Are you worried your bladder will suddenly betray you and release a flood of urine? You’re not alone. Join us as we help folks like you understand what’s happening with their bladders.

We get it — your bladder is probably the last thing you want to talk about. But if you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, talking about it is one of the best things you can do. 

In fact, it’s a crucial first step in getting the help you need. 

Dr. Joseph Roofeh and our team know how frustrating urinary incontinence can be. We also know that keeping quiet and hoping it goes away is the best way to find yourself bound to your bladder’s whims. 

So, we’re opening the floor and talking candidly about what’s going on “down there,” starting with covering the basics of the four main types of urinary incontinence.

Getting to know your bladder

You probably thought mastering potty training meant an end to your bladder bothers. Unfortunately, bladder issues can follow you into adulthood. 

The strong muscle walls that hold up your bladder and help you hold back the urine flow weaken with age, succumb to nerve damage, and stretch out after events like pregnancy and childbirth. The result is an embarrassing lack of control over your bladder — a condition we call urinary incontinence. 

Urinary incontinence is the medical term for when you can’t “hold it” anymore. Urinary incontinence makes everyday life and activities stressful and, in some cases, impossible. But there’s hope in treatment, and your treatment journey begins with identifying the type of incontinence you’re dealing with. 

Here’s a closer look.

1. Overflow incontinence

When you go to the bathroom and think you’ve drained your bladder, but you dribble a little bit right after you’ve finished, you have overflow incontinence. This occurs when your bladder fails to empty completely or only releases a small amount of urine. Overflow incontinence usually stems from a blockage or weak bladder muscles that allow some urine to leak out. 

2. Stress incontinence

Do you leak a little urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump, or lift something heavy? Then you have stress incontinence. This type of incontinence occurs when too much pressure on weak bladder muscles forces your bladder to empty, ready or not. 

3. Urge incontinence

With urge incontinence, you’ll be going about your day when suddenly, you’re struck with an intense urge to rush to a commode. A sudden loss of urine usually follows the urge. Many with urge incontinence experience leakage at night, making it difficult to manage. 

4. Mixed incontinence

As the name suggests, mixed incontinence refers to having more than one type. For instance, you can struggle to hold in urine when you cough and sneeze; later that night, you could leak urine while sleeping. 

Getting help for incontinence

Whether you’re struggling with one type of incontinence or have the whole gambit, you’re not out of luck. We start by getting to the bottom of exactly what’s causing your bladder problems.  

Once we’ve uncovered what’s going on behind the scenes, we create a treatment plan to address your specific needs. Your plan may include:

  • Bladder training
  • Pelvic floor therapy
  • Medications
  • Medical devices that block urine flow 
  • Surgery
  • Mid-urethral sling

We also walk you through some simple lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce the number of accidents you have, such as:

  • Adjusting your fluid intake
  • Avoiding beverages that irritate your bladder
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing constipation
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Adjusting medications

Simply put, we leave no stone unturned and help you address incontinence from as many angles as possible. 

Stop being stressed out by incontinence and call in the professionals. Dr. Roofeh and our team are standing by to answer your questions and get you started on a treatment plan today. Call our friendly staff at 310-552-1700 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Century City, Los Angeles office.