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HealthInfo Canterbury

Urinary incontinence

Mate tōngāmimi

Urinary continence means having full control of your bladder. Urinary incontinence is when you've lost bladder control, so you accidentally leak urine (wee). Urinary incontinence is a symptom not a disease.

Urinary incontinence can range from occasionally leaking a few drops of urine to leaking enough to affect your daily activities.

Types of urinary incontinence include:

Causes of urinary incontinence

Causes of stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is caused by damage to your pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and tissues. It can be due to:

Causes of urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is caused by overactivity of your bladder muscles, which may be due to:

Causes of overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence happens when your bladder doesn't empty completely. This can be due an obstruction affecting the urine flow such as:

Causes of continuous incontinence

Continuous incontinence can be caused by:

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Treating urinary incontinence

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created November 2019.


See also:

Bedwetting & daytime wetting in children

Continence & prostate surgery

Page reference: 264391

Review key: HIURS-53047