Identifying the Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Identifying the Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
Identifying the Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be an awkward topic to discuss, even with your doctor. Since many people are embarrassed to talk about incontinence, a large number of patients are unaware of the different types of urinary incontinence. The four main types of urinary incontinence include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence (which is a combination of incontinence types) and overflow incontinence. Each type has it’s own set of characteristic symptoms and bladder control challenges. Here are a few of the most common symptoms associated with urinary incontinence. 

1.  Frequent or urgent urges to urinate

It is common for urinary incontinence patients to experience sudden and frequent needs to urinate. This particular symptom typically correlates with urge incontinence and may occur in tandem with involuntary bladder contraction as well. 

2.  Urine leaks after coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising

These are some of the most common symptoms of urinary incontinence, specifically stress incontinence. For many women, shifting diet and void behavior can help reduce the severity of symptoms. For more advanced cases, implementing a pessary device or taking anticholinergic drugs can eliminate symptoms all together.

3.  Urine dribbling

This symptom is frequently associated with overflow incontinence. Dribbling occurs when the bladder does not completely empty after voiding. Simple behavioral modifications like double voiding can be extremely helpful for patients struggling with dribbling since it forces the bladder to release excess urine. 

While none of these symptoms are life-threatening, they are highly inconvenient and can significantly impact the patient’s quality of life. Fortunately, all four types of urinary incontinence are highly treatable and a few simple habits can significantly lessen the severity of symptoms. 

For patients experiencing these symptoms, your urologist will likely request access to your medical history, conduct a physical exam and check your urine for any other medical conditions through a urinalysis. From there, your urologist will be able to identify the true cause of the problem and come up with a treatment plan that suits your needs.