Urinary Incontinence

Symptoms

Types of Urinary Incontinence (UI) and Their Symptoms

There are several types of UI, and each type has different symptoms. 

Urge Incontinence

We all experience an urge when it’s time to go the toilet. You may have urge UI if you have a sudden and very strong urge to urinate and are sometimes unable to make it to the toilet on time. This is the most common type of UI in older adults. It is often caused by the brain not controlling a signal from the bladder, allowing the bladder muscle to contract when you are not ready to pass urine.

Stress Incontinence

You may have stress UI if you leak or dribble urine when the pressure in your abdomen (stomach area) increases.  This may happen when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or are physically active. This type of incontinence is most common in women, although men may get it after prostate surgery.

Overflow Incontinence

If you have frequent dribbling of urine, you may have overflow incontinence. This type of UI is caused by incomplete emptying of the bladder. This is the least common type of UI.  

Mixed Incontinence

If you have symptoms of urge and stress incontinence, you may have mixed UI. 

Overactive Bladder

You may have an overactive bladder if you have a very strong urge to urinate, but do not necessarily lose control of your bladder.  You may also have to urinate frequently during the day and night.

Updated: December 2017