Female Incontinence

Female Incontinence : Definition and Four Categories

One of the most frequent and mortifying medical conditions on women is what they call female incontinence or female urine leakage.  Luckily, today’s medicine offers wide range of treatment options after a proper diagnosis from your physician.

Female Incontinence
Female Incontinence


Urologists classify female incontinence into four categories:

  • Overflow
  • Stress
  • Urge
  • Mixed


Usually, overflow is a result of neurologic dysfunction wherein a woman can’t feel her bladder fill and the urine overflows.  We often see this case with individuals with severe diabetes but less often with those who suffer multiple sclerosis and other neurologic disorders.


Meanwhile, stress incontinence is used to describe the activities that bring on leakage (such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, standing up and anything that puts pressure on the bladder, causing the urethral sphincter (or pee channel) to leak.  There are several factors that lead to this category of incontinence out of which vaginal childbirth (or normal delivery) and pelvic surgeries are the most common factors.


While there are no good medications that can remedy stress incontinence, but there are self-help exercises, physical therapy and outpatient surgeries that can greatly help.  Surgeries are only applicable for patients with severe cases of stress incontinence.


Urge incontinence is something that most of us experience at one time or another.  It is the time when your bladder is sending message to your brain that it needs to be emptied but there’s no appropriate venue available—which is simply the urge.  Urge continence happens when the bladder lets go of the pee before the person finds a toilet.


There are many causes for urge incontinence though it may be hard to enumerate all of those.  It is then important to see a urologist to give you a rundown of causes.  Once your doctor makes an accurate diagnosis, he or she will give you the proper course of medication that usually results to quieting down of the bladder by the weakening of bladder muscle contraction just enough to stop sending recurring signals to the brain.


Finally, mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge symptoms. Remember that treating stress incontinence with urge incontinence medication is unsuccessful; while treating urge incontinence with stress incontinence therapies (most especially urethral sling surgery) is pretty dangerous.   Hence, it is important that you go to a urologist or urogynecologist to have this condition evaluated.