Skip to main content

Know the Different Types of Female Incontinence

Female incontinence is a very common problem. While women above age 60 are more commonly affected, urinary incontinence can happen to anyone of any gender or age.

Female incontinence is categorized into 3 main types.

The 3 Types of Female Incontinence

1. Urge Incontinence

female incontinence

Sometimes called overactive bladder or OAB, urge incontinence creates a strong need to urinate with a loss of bladder control. The muscle controlling urine flow stops working as it should in many cases.

This type of female incontinence may be triggered by something as simple as a UTI (urinary tract infection). It could also be due to a muscular or neurological disease, such as Multiple Sclerosis.

While UTIs are temporary, you do need to see your doctor as soon as possible to clear up the infection. However, a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis could necessitate the use of catheters or incontinence supplies. See your doctor for potential treatment options, including medication, surgery, physical therapy, or incontinence management supplies.

2. Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is often indicative of bladder problems or neurological disease and damage. Those with overflow incontinence have a bladder that doesn’t empty completely during urination. As urine builds up inside the bladder, it overflows, creating leakage.

More often than not, physical therapy is not successful for overflow incontinence, although the use of intermittent catheters may help by emptying the bladder entirely.

3. Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles experience pressure. This can be from something as simple as coughing or laughing. Additionally, it could be from more strenuous activities like lifting weights or running. Typically, stress incontinence in women is milder in terms of overall urine leakage, although it can also be severe.

Stress incontinence is also the most common type of female incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth can also trigger stress incontinence since the pelvic and abdominal muscles become strained.

Female Incontinence Management Options

Because of the prevalence of female incontinence, many women consider it something they’ll just have to live with. However, you do have options to treat and manage your urinary incontinence.

Talk to your doctor about options that may be right for you, depending on the type of female incontinence affecting you. They will likely have a customized recommendation based on your individual situation.

Incontinence treatment options for women may include:

  • Bladder re-training therapy on a schedule
  • Diet or lifestyle changes
  • Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Medications
  • Botox injections into the bladder muscle
  • Urethral insert or a pessary
  • Surgery
  • Intermittent catheterization
  • Incontinence supplies such as adult diapers or female bladder control pads

Whether you require female urinary catheters or incontinence products for women, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to suffer alone. 180 Medical is here for your incontinence and catheter supply needs.

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

Join the 180 Community

About the Author
Know the Different Types of Female Incontinence
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for over 14 years now. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).