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What is Urinary Incontinence?



5 min read

Thinx Periodical What is Urinary Incontinence

by Team Thinx | 06/27/2023

Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, but it is still stigmatized and not talked about enough in the public sphere. It may be incredibly common, but it can still significantly impact a person's day-to-day quality of life. Read on as we discuss the definition of urinary incontinence, its causes, and management strategies to help you better understand and manage this condition.

what is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine, plain and simple. It can occur at any age, but is more common in older adults. Urinary incontinence can vary in severity, from occasional urinary leakage to a complete inability to hold urine. 

importance of addressing urinary incontinence

Addressing urinary incontinence is crucial for maintaining a good quality of life. The emotional toll of living with urinary incontinence is often underestimated. It can cause significant distress and affect a person's self-esteem, leading to feelings of embarrassment. Urinary incontinence can also impact a person's ability to work and participate in daily activities — meaning that it can affect job performance and limit social interactions.

By addressing urinary incontinence, individuals can regain control over their lives and help improve their physical and emotional well-being. Rest assured that seeking help for urinary incontinence is not only totally normal — it’s also a positive step towards improving your overall quality of life.

types of urinary incontinence

There are several types of urinary incontinence, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, functional incontinence, and mixed incontinence. Let's take a closer look at each type, shall we?

stress incontinence

So, what is stress incontinence? Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women. It occurs when pressure is placed on the bladder, such as when someone is laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercising.

urge incontinence

Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is a sudden and intense urge to urinate. It can happen even when the bladder is not full, and it can be challenging to control. It is often caused by an overactive bladder muscle.

overflow incontinence

Don’t know what overflow incontinence is? Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder is full but cannot empty completely. It results in frequent urine leaks, and it is often caused by a blockage or obstruction in the urinary tract.

functional incontinence

Functional incontinence occurs when a person is physically unable to get to the bathroom in time due to mobility or cognitive issues. It is often caused by conditions such as arthritis or dementia.

mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of two or more types of urinary incontinence. It is common in women, especially those who have given birth.

how to manage urinary incontinence 

Management strategies for urinary incontinence can include lifestyle changes, medication, and pelvic floor exercises. Lifestyle changes may include avoiding bladder irritants, such as caffeine and alcohol, and scheduling times to use the restroom. Pelvic floor exercises, such as kegels, can help strengthen the muscles for bladder control and reduce symptoms of stress incontinence.

At Thinx, we understand the importance of addressing urinary incontinence. Our absorbent underwear for bladder leaks is designed to help prevent leaks and comes in handy for situations just like urinary incontinence. Our products are made with leak protection technology, enabling you to continue your daily activities with less worry. 

We believe in promoting open and honest conversations about urinary incontinence, reducing the stigma associated with it, and encouraging individuals to seek help and support. We are committed to providing resources, education, and support to help individuals manage urinary incontinence effectively.

At Thinx, we strive to provide our readers with the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information. Our content is crafted by experienced contributors who ground their work in research and data. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked within the text or listed at the bottom to lead readers to the original source.


Cleveland Clinic. Urinary Incontinence.

Mayo Clinic. Urinary Incontinence. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Urinary Incontinence in Women. 

Urology Care Foundation. Urinary Incontinence.

by Team Thinx

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