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Understanding urinary incontinence in adults


Urinary incontinence is a term that includes all involuntary leakage of urine. There are several different types, for example stress urinary incontinence, mixed urinary incontinence, urge urinary incontinence, and more.

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Not all incontinence is the same, and there are different causes for male incontinence, female incontinence, elderly incontinence, and incontinence in children. The extent of involuntary leakage of urine also varies. A doctor can make a more in-depth diagnosis based on the type of incontinence, frequency, and severity. So if you are experiencing urine leakage, a “weak bladder”, or other bladder problems, you should consult your doctor.


Different types of adult incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence means that you are leaking urine when exerting yourself, for example when coughing sneezing, or laughing. It’s the most common type among women, but rare in men.
 
Urge urinary incontinence is incontinence problems in connection with an urgency to urinate. The amount of leakage varies, from small dribbles to a complete emptying of the bladder. The reasons behind this type of incontinence can also have different causes, for example an enlarged prostate, a urinary tract infection, or simply if you drink too much. Therefore it is important to get a proper diagnosis to get the right treatment.
 
Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of both stress urinary incontinence and urge urinary incontinence. It means you can have leaks both connected with urgency, and when exerting yourself.
 
Overflow urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder cannot empty completely and then gradually fills with residual urine. The most common cause for this type of problem is an obstruction of the urethra, for example due to an enlarged prostate. A bladder muscle that cannot contract to empty can also be a cause, something that can be related to diabetes neuropathy for example. 
 
Neurological Bladder Disorder is caused by damage to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves. Neurological bladder disorder can affect patients who suffer from damages caused by trauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. 
 
Post-micturition dribble is the involuntary loss of urine immediately after passing urine. It happens because there is still urine remaining in the urethra. The problem is more common for men and can sometimes be avoided by pressing forward on the perineum to evacuate the remaining urine. It can also affect women who have poor muscle support for the urethra.
 
Functional urinary incontinence means that you cannot reach the toilet in time due to some sort of immobility. Impaired vision, lowered cognitive function and reduced mobility, can cause functional urinary incontinence.
 

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