Urinary Incontinence Types and Causes

Urinary incontinence is the leakage of small amounts of urine due to loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence is a common women's health issue that can profoundly impact quality of life. There are many treatment options available to improve bladder control.

Two common types of urinary incontinence include:

Stress incontinence: Loss of urine when coughing, laughing or sneezing, or when walking, running, lifting heavy objects or exercising. This is the most common type of incontinence in younger women.

Urge incontinence: Sudden strong urge to void and urine leakage before reaching the toilet; also called overactive bladder.

Diagnosis starts with a detailed medical history and thorough physical exam, including a pelvic exam. You may be asked to keep a voiding diary to record how much urine is leaking, how often, what you were doing at the time, fluids consumed and other details.