Urinary incontinence in women
Urinary incontinence is when you pass urine when you do not mean to. It is a common condition that can be distressing and have a major impact on all aspects of a woman's life including her social life, sex life and work life. The symptoms you get depend on the type of incontinence you have.
'Stress incontinence' happens when your pelvic floor muscles are too weak to stop you urinating, especially during exercise or if you cough, laugh or sneeze.
'Urgency' is the word used to describe the feeling that you need to rush to get to the toilet. Urgency can be one of the symptoms of 'overactive bladder', when the bladder tells your body that it wants to empty before it is full. Women with overactive bladder can also have 'detrusor overactivity' when the bladder muscle starts squeezing to empty out urine more than normal, or when you don't want it to. Some women who have overactive bladder or detrusor overactivity do not leak urine. But if you don't get to the toilet in time and leak some urine, this is called 'urgency incontinence'.
'Mixed incontinence' is when you have a mixture of stress and urgency symptoms.