Do you have incontinence? While most people think of incontinence simply as the inability to hold urine, incontinence can actually take many forms. Here, we break down the different types of incontinence for you. Once you identify the type you have, you’ll be better suited to treat your condition:
Urge Incontinence. Do you feel like you always have to go to the bathroom when you’re washing the dishes? There’s a reason for that. Also commonly referred to as Overactive Bladder, or OAB, Urge Incontinence is when you feel a strong need to use the restroom right now. This can happen out of the blue, and may be triggered by - you guessed it - hearing running water, or even anticipating needing to use the restroom.
Stress Incontinence. Do you leak a little bit when you sneeze or laugh? Does the thought of jumping on the trampoline with your kids give you pause? If so, you may be suffering from stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the leakage of urine when extra ‘stress’ is placed on the bladder and is generally caused by weakened sphincter muscles. Common causes are childbirth, general loss of muscle tone, nerve damage, and even chronic coughing, which places continued stress on the muscle.
Mixed Incontinence. Do both of the above scenarios sound familiar to you? You’re not alone. Mixed Incontinence is when you feel both the urgent need to go, and experience leakage due to physical exertion, and is very common.
Urinary Retention. Generally caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract, or nerve problems that interfere with signals between the brain and the bladder, urinary retention is when your bladder has trouble completely emptying. Symptoms of urinary retention include difficulty starting a stream of urine, feeling a frequent need to go, and feeling the need to urinate again soon after finishing.
Luckily, there are many treatment options available for each of the above types of incontinence. Educate yourself more about your condition and what can be done, so that when you’re ready to see your doctor, you’ll have a greater understanding of your condition and the options available to you.
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