Skip main navigation

Types of incontinence

Cinny Cusack describes the types of incontinence women may face after giving birth, in this video.
So what are the types of urinary incontinence? There are several types of incontinence that you might be experiencing. Stress urinary incontinence is the most common, and this is where there’s involuntary loss of urine when you’re making an effort such as lifting a baby, or you’re shopping, or with physical activities such as sport, or when you cough or sneeze. An overactive bladder is a collection of symptoms such as urinary urgency, and this is where your bladder sends you to the toilet very quickly. And so you go more frequently during the day, and the bladder may wake you up more often at night. These symptoms happen when you don’t have a urinary tract infection.
Urgency incontinence may be associated with an overactive bladder if you leak as you go to the toilet. So it may just be a few little dribbles, or the whole bladder may empty before you reach the toilet. Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urgency incontinence. So do pelvic floor muscle exercises work? We know from the evidence from a Cochrane review that women who were continent and did their pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy were about 62% less likely to have urinary incontinence later in their pregnancy and 29% less likely to have it three to six months after they’d had their babies. So we can see how important it is to do your pelvic floor exercises.
If you can improve the strength and the control of your pelvic floor muscles, you will have less leaking and be much more likely to reach the toilet on time. In our next video, we will be looking at the triggers and activities that may be causing your urinary incontinence, and then we can look at how we can do something about it.

Cinny describes the different types of incontinence in this video. Take a look at the PDF below for more detailed information.

We have developed more videos on the topic of urinary incontinence for you to explore:

This article is from the free online

Women’s Health After Motherhood

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education