Incontinence words and terminology.

After dribble

This is when a few drops of urine leak after you’ve been to the toilet, even if you’ve ‘waited and shaken’. There are two types of after dribble, post-micturition dribble and terminal dribble. After dribble happens because the bladder doesn’t empty completely while you urinate. Instead, the urine accumulates in the tube leading from your bladder.

Bladder weakness

Bladder weakness is a term commonly used synonymous to incontinence, and is referring to any involuntary loss of urine. Although commonly used, the term bladder weakness is not medically correct since the cause of leakage is not related to a weak bladder, but instead to what is called  Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS).


Incontinence is defined as complaint of involuntary loss of urine.

Incontinence treatments

There are many kinds of recommended urinary incontinence treatments. One treatment is lifestyle interventions, such as bladder training or pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFME) which strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Changing the fluid intake and emptying pattern or weight loss can also often help. Other kinds of treatments include medication (or medication review), incontinence aids or surgery. A surgical procedure is only recommended after a thorough evaluation and after less invasive treatment options have failed. It is always recommended to get a proper assessment to find out the exact cause of the urinary incontinence.  A person considering surgery should be aware of the potential risks as well as the expected benefit of the procedure, like with any other surgical intervention. Incontinence aids in the form of absorbent incontinence products should be used while other treatments are followed like lifestyle interventions or medication. Incontinence aids should also be used once other treatments have needed if these treatments do not work.


The act of urinating (voiding, or passing urine).

Overactive bladder

An overactive bladder is a symptom defined condition characterized by urinary urgency , with or without urgency urinary incontinence, usually with increased daytime frequency and nocturia.

Overflow incontinence

If you have a constant or intermittent flow of urine you might be dealing with overflow incontinence. It’s usually caused by something obstructing the flow of urine, causing the bladder to overflow and then leak.

Pelvic floor muscles

The pelvic floor muscles (or pelvic muscles) are a group of muscles inside the pelvis that form a floor between your legs.  They are located between the pubic bone (at the front) and the base of your spine (at the back). Weakening of these muscles can lead to problems such as urinary incontinence and, if the anal closure muscle is affected, faecal incontinence.

Post-micturition dribble

Post-micturition dribble is when the bladder doesn’t empty completely and continues to leak after urinating. This is also common with an enlarged prostate or weakened pelvic floor muscles.


A gland in men, which is located at the base of the bladder. The prostate produces a fluid at ejaculation. Often in older men, the gland starts to grow larger and can obstruct the urine tube. A symptom of this is a poor stream of urine, also known as problems emptying the bladder or incomplete emptying of the bladder.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is the most common cause for urine leakage in men. Urge incontinence is when you experience a sudden urge to urinate, but can’t hold it in until you reach a toilet. You may need to urinate more than 4 to 8 times a day, as well as several times during the night. This is often linked to an enlarged prostate or the aftermath of prostate surgery.

Urinary stress incontinence

Stress incontinence refers to the complaint of involuntary loss of urine on effort or physical exertion or on sneezing or couching.  The sphincter or pelvic floor muscles and ligaments that support the bladder are too weak to hold urine in.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A Urinary Tract Infection is an infection caused by bacteria getting into the urinary tract. A lower urinary tract infection is located in the urethra and bladder. An upper UTI is a more serious condition and involves the ureter and kidney.