Symptoms and Signs of Incontinence FAQs

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Incontinence FAQs

Incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of urine. This loss of urine is commonly due to weak muscles that control the exit of the bladder, or by the inability to hold urine when the urge to urinate occurs. Several types of incontinence exist, and the most common types include stress incontinence, which is associated with coughing, sneezing, or exercising, and urge incontinence, when the bladder feels as if it needs to be relieved immediately, regardless of how much urine is in the bladder.

Symptoms of incontinence include uncontrollable leakage of urine, feeling the need to urinate immediately (urgency), difficulty starting the urine stream (hesitancy), urinating more than usual (frequency), pain or burning with urination (often associated with infection), blood in the urine, having to get up at night to urinate (nocturia), dripping or dribbling urine after urination is completed, and bearing down to start the urine stream (straining).

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.