Urinary Incontinence – Causes, Types, Treatment

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. The victim has a strong, sudden need to urinate but is unable to hold urine. Leaks can occur when you sneeze, laugh, make any physical effort or exercise. It is a hygiene problem, social and psychological, as it influences the daily activities of patients and reduces their quality of life. Incontinence is not a disease itself, but the consequence of an alteration in the bladder filling phase which occurs in many diseases.


It can occur at any age in both the sexes. However, it is more common in women than in men. Incontinence occurs when the pressure inside the bladder exceeds the pressure in the urethra.

This condition may be due to over activity of urinary muscles called detrusor, in some cases, it is motivated by a neurological problem, for an alteration of the external sphincter and pelvic floor muscles, by the failure of internal sphincter injury due to inappropriate relaxation or by neuronal damage.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress incontinence: urine loss occurs during any movement or activity. Activities like laughing, sneezing, playing sports, lifting heavy objects or merely standing up or bending can cause urine leakage ranging from a few drops to a trickle. It affects more than one million women.

Urge incontinence:  it consists of the involuntary loss of urine associated with a strong, sudden need to urinate. The origin of this incontinence is in the detrusor muscles.

Sensitive: it is caused by increased sensory impulses from receptors voltage / pressure found in the walls of the bladder.

Overflow incontinence: urine loss occurs because the bladder is distended by obstruction and fails to empty itself.


Dietary hygienic measures: patients must control fluids intake to avoid excessive formation of urine. Most food items that are known to produce urine life milk, fruits etc. should be taken in lesser quantity.

Drug therapy: objective of drug treatment is to ensure that the bladder is able to relax without contracting during filling and that the urethra remains closed during filling. The most commonly used drugs are anticholinergic substances that decrease detrusor contractility and increase the tolerance of bladder.

Surgery: There are different surgical solutions according to the type of incontinence and the characteristics of the bladder and urethra.

Bladder training: patients regain bladder control by learning to resist the urge to urinate and thus contributing to increase bladder capacity. This is achieved through exercises that develop the pelvic floor muscles.