Successfully managing incontinence begins with understanding the various types. The four most common types of urinary incontinence include:
1. Overflow incontinence: Unexpected, light dribbles of urine, which are frequent or constant, resulting from a full bladder
2. Stress incontinence: Small urine leaks (2-50 mL per pad) from pressure on the bladder due to physical movement like coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or heavy lifting
3. Urge incontinence: A sudden, intense urge to urinate caused by an overactive bladder; however, the person cannot reach the toilet in time, resulting in a light to moderate loss of urine
4. Functional incontinence: Leakage of large urine amounts (130 to 460 mL per pad during the day and 150 to 750 mL per pad at night) because of a physical or mental impairment that prevents the person from reaching the toilet in time
People who experience more than one type are often said to have mixed incontinence.
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