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Urge Vs. Stress Incontinence

What Are The Main Types of Incontinence?

Have you experienced urinary incontinence or leakage? 

If you have, you may already be aware that there are a multitude of causes and ways to address this common (but not normal!) problem. A great place to start is simply by understanding what’s going on!

Do you know what KIND of incontinence you’ve been having?

If not, read on…

Urge Incontinence vs. Stress Incontinence

The first type we see in the clinic is known as urge incontinence, and it is that feeling of “oh shoot, I’m not going to be able to make it!” when you’re in the line at the grocery store, talking with a friend, or any other random, non-workout related experience. The key indicator of this type of incontinence is that sudden, extremely urgent need to rush to the bathroom to avoid an accident.

The treatment for this type of incontinence really involves a lot of work with the breath, strategies for “riding” those urges and retraining the body to create clearer communication between bladder and brain and sort out the “crossed wires” that can be at the root of this type of incontinence.

The second (and dare I say more common) type of incontinence is known as stress incontinence. This is often experienced by new (or more experienced!) mothers as the process of pregnancy and birth puts quite a lot of strain on the pelvic floor. This is the culprit when you find yourself leaking urine or having an accident during or after a strenuous workout when experiencing strong emotions (think laughter, tears, anger), or whenever you place pressure on your pelvis (like when you sneeze or cough, jump, etc.). Key indicators of this type of incontinence are noticing that you may have leaked without even realizing it, or finding yourself leaking urine any time you apply internal pressure downward or exert effort.

The treatment for this form of incontinence can be a bit more involved, but it absolutely centers around pelvic floor strengthening and coordination. Oftentimes with this type of problem, it’s really that the muscles of the pelvic floor are not effectively firing or communicating between one another, and this causes all sorts of problems, not just urinary leakage. Full recovery is possible through work with a PT, even if other methods have proven ineffective in the past.

A Special Video…

Below is a quick, five-minute video one of our pelvic floor experts, Dr. Megan Wiley, made that explains the two types of urinary incontinence more thoroughly and offers a bit more about what can be done to help. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from urinary incontinence, be sure to take advantage of our special Urinary Incontinence Awareness Month offer. You can schedule a free 20 minute “Stop Peeing Myself” (completely confidential) consultation where you will be heard, listened to, and supported in getting the customized support and care you need to say goodbye to “oh no” and “oops” and hello to “let’s go for a run” or “no, I don’t need to stop for the potty now, thanks”.


Doctors Jereme and Sarah Trunk

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