The symptoms of incontinence can vary from person to person. Some may experience minor leaking every once in awhile, while others may experience complete loss of bladder control daily. There are also different kinds of incontinence, the two most common being “urge incontinence” and “stress incontinence.” Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two types of incontinence.
We will first define “stress urinary incontinence.” It is the involuntary loss of urine as a result of increased intra-abdominal pressure from activities such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, or jumping.
And the definition of “urge incontinence” is the involuntary loss of urine following a strong, unexpected urge to urinate due to involuntary bladder spasms.
Although the result of these two types of incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine, there are many differences between urge and stress incontinence. For example, stress incontinence is caused by distinct activities that increase our intra- abdominal pressure, whereas urge incontinence is unpredictable and unexpected.
Another difference is that stress incontinence is due to ineffective contraction of our pelvic floor muscles, meaning that we can’t get our muscles to contract when we want them to. On the other hand, urge incontinence is due to involuntary contractions of our bladder muscle. These are unwanted contractions that we can’t voluntarily stop.
And the final difference is in the treatment of these two types of incontinence. Stress incontinence is most often treated with pelvic floor muscle training and strengthening, whereas urge incontinence is often treated with a combination of medication, bladder retraining, and pelvic floor muscle strengthening.