There are several types of urinary incontinence, including:
- Stress incontinence – when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
- Urge incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel a sudden, intense urge to pass urine
It’s also possible to have a mixture of both stress and urge urinary incontinence. The Juliet Laser treatment is successful in treating both Stress and Urinary Incontinence.
Stress incontinence is the most common type. It occurs when the pressure in the bladder becomes too great for the bladder outlet to withstand. This is usually caused by weak pelvic floor muscles. Urine tends to leak most when you cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise (such as when you jump or run). In these situations there is a sudden extra pressure (stress) inside the tummy (abdomen) and on the bladder. Small amounts of urine often leak. Sometimes much larger volumes of urine are accidentally passed. Pelvic floor muscles are often weakened by childbirth. Stress incontinence is common in women who have had several children, in obese people and with increasing age. Stress incontinence is when you leak urine when your bladder is put under extra sudden pressure – for example, when you cough. It’s not related to feeling stressed.
Other activities that may cause urine to leak include:
- heavy lifting
The amount of urine passed is usually small, but stress incontinence can sometimes cause you to pass larger amounts, particularly if your bladder is very full.
Urge incontinence, or urgency incontinence, is when you feel a sudden and very intense need to pass urine and you’re unable to delay going to the toilet. There’s often only a few seconds between the need to urinate and the release of urine.
Your need to pass urine may be triggered by a sudden change of position, or even by the sound of running water. You may also pass urine during sex, particularly when you reach orgasm.
This type of incontinence often occurs as part of group of symptoms called overactive bladder syndrome, which is where the bladder muscle is more active than usual.
As well as sometimes causing urge incontinence, overactive bladder syndrome can also mean you need to pass urine very frequently and you may need to get up several times during the night to urinate.
Mixed incontinence is when you have symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence. For example, you may leak urine if you cough or sneeze, and also experience very intense urges to pass urine.