Types of Urinary Incontinence

LeRoy Jones, M.D., give patient innovative treatment options for male incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder. There are several types of urinary incontinence in men, all of which have different symptoms. Your symptoms will depend on the cause of your urinary incontinence.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is a leaking of urine that is caused by stress on the bladder due to normal, everyday activities (e.g., sneezing, coughing, laughing, exercising, lifting heavy objects). Causes of stress incontinence may include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostate gland removal
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder infection
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is urinary incontinence that is caused by a sudden, intense urge to urinate, leaving no time to get to a toilet. Causes of urge incontinence may include:

  • Bladder infection
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a dribbling of urine (frequent or constant) that is caused by an inability to completely empty the bladder. Other symptoms may include frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate small amounts, and a feeling that the bladder is never completely empty. Causes of overflow incontinence may include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Diabetes
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

Mixed Incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of two or more types of urinary incontinence. Causes of mixed incontinence may include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostate gland removal
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder infection
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence is urinary incontinence due to loss of physical function, making it difficult to get to the toilet on time (e.g., being unable to get out of bed without assistance and not having assistance available). Causes of functional incontinence may include:

  • Being unable to get to the bathroom without assistance
  • Not being able to unbutton your pants
  • Not having a clear path to the bathroom

Total Incontinence

Total incontinence is a constant leaking of urine or a complete inability to control the bladder. Causes of total incontinence may include:

  • Prostate gland removal
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

For more information on symptoms of urinary incontinence, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.