The Downlow: Urge vs. Stress Incontinence

Check out the first episode of our new series “The Downlow” where we explain the difference between the two types of urinary incontinence: stress and urge.

Stress urinary incontinence occurs with increased stress or pressure from laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercise or jumping on a trampoline, and at times with intercourse. This type of incontinence occurs due to the weakening of the muscles that support the urethra. The second type of urinary incontinence is urge incontinence. Urge incontinence occurs with an urgency! When you have the need to use the restroom and aren’t quite able to make it in time due to the overwhelming urgency, the bladder may contract prematurely resulting in urgency leakage. The bladder should remain in a relaxed state until it is time to void, at which time it contracts and urination occurs. Women with overactive bladder often have bladder contractions, resulting in urgency, frequency, and leakage. There is also mixed urinary incontinence when stress and urge incontinence are both present. Often, the leakage starts as stress (just with coughing and sneezing), following vaginal delivery or with age, then as she makes changes to compensate and try to keep the bladder empty to avoid leakage, symptoms progress to mixed urinary incontinence.

You can learn more about urinary incontinence here.