Urge Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence around the world.

Stress incontinence is caused by the leaking of an amount of urine under strain or force for example when you cough, sneeze, giggle, laugh, stand or walk .

It is the most common type of bladder leakage in women and it occurs because of: pregnancy and vaginal childbirths, menopause and breastfeeding which create hormone changes in the body. As well as prostate cancer for men stress incontinence can occur in people of all ages,

Urge incontinence is the need to pass urine and the inability to ‘hold on’. This can be caused by the sound of running water, arriving home; this particular form of incontinence is more often found in the elderly and is caused by the bladder muscles being underactive or overactive.

Urge incontinence is the second most common variety of weak bladder control with women more likely to suffer from this than men. This form of incontinence can occur when your bladder contracts without you intentionally wanting it to, leaving you little time to get to the bathroom.

In normal circumstances the bladder muscle remains relaxed while the bladder is filling but in urge incontinence when the bladder gets to about half full you start to feel an urge to use the toilet.

The time between having the urge and needing to go can be quite short and remember (we’re talking moments here folks!) you still have to find a toilet to get to and unfortunately leaking starts to occur.

With urge incontinence for some reason the bladder seems to give an incorrect message to the brain telling it to contract even though it is not particularly full.

Urge incontinence can develop as part of the brain controlling urination may undergo changes inhibiting its functions resulting in flow problems -like stops and starts. Common causes being: the ageing process, urinary tract infections, poor bladder habits e.g. holding on when youneed to go, stroke, multiple sclerosis, enlarged prostate.

Mixed incontinence

Is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence frequently found in elderly women and can sometimes be complicated by urinary retention.


One of the symptoms of nocturia causes the sufferer to wake several times at night to go to the toilet. It increases in frequency with age with both men and women and there are several reasons why it occurs, but the most common one is when the sufferer goes to bed at night the act of lying down causes the detrusor muscle to produce more urine while you try to sleep. This is known as Nocturnal Polyuria. It occurs at night-time when the lying down. There are several other types of nocturia as well.

There are a range of reasons why people get nocturia and the best solution is to visit your local GP or urologist to determine what the possible cause may be, but sometimes the symptoms can be serious so don’t leave this too long to attend to.

Whether you can be treated and cured or not will depend on the GPs diagnosis, but before you visit him/her try and keep a record of your bladder activity for 5-7 days which will help your doctor with the diagnosis.

One simple method of mitigating the problem can be to raise the legs at night by placing a pillow underneath them to minimise the detrusor muscles activity.

The main issue with Nocturia is it severely interrupts sleep patterns so the sufferer becomes fatigued and ultimately incurs further health complications overtime so it is best addressed as soon as is practicable.

There are medications available some of which can be worn as a patch on the skin with a slow release chemical to inhibit the production of urine. Again your GP will prescribe .

Having looked at these symptoms above and the types it’s important to consider the type of incontinence you have. Nocturia is not as common as Stress or Urge Incontinence, but if in doubt it’s important to get it checked out with your GP.

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