Types Of And Causes Of Incontinence


Urinary incontinence exists in several different types, understanding which type you have can help you get the appropriate treatment for effective prevention.  

Below is a list of the most common and some useful information on each. 

STRESS INCONTINENCE Stress incontinence refers to stress upon the sphincter and pelvic muscles.  

A person with stress incontinence will experience small urine loss from coughing, sneezing, laughing or physical activities such as running, lifting heavy objects or getting off a chair or bed. This is the most common type of incontinence and occurs mainly in women.  

RETENTION/OVERFLOW INCONTINENCE A person with retention/overflow incontinence strains to pass urine and feels that their bladder hasn’t emptied completely. As a result, they may experience constant dribbling and may suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections. Retention/overflow incontinence is common in males who have an enlarged prostate gland.  

OVERACTIVE BLADDER (OAB) Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is characterised by urgency, often with frequency and nocturia and sometimes leakage (urge incontinence). It is often but not always associated with detrusor muscle over-activity.  

FUNCTIONAL INCONTINENCE Functional incontinence is the result of physical, psychological and/ or environmental problems that affect a person’s ability to reach or use the toilet. Some of these problems include poor mobility, poor dexterity, and loss of memory or even poor building design.  

REFLEX INCONTINENCE A person suffering reflex incontinence will find that their bladder has emptied without any warning or, in some cases, without any sensation that this has occurred. Reflex incontinence can often be the result of a spinal cord injury.  

NOCTURIA INCONTINENCE A person with nocturia will wake frequently during the night to go to the toilet and find that they have insufficient time to reach the toilet once they have woken. A person with nocturnal enuresis will lose urine while they are sleeping, usually at night.  

MIXED INCONTINENCE Mixed incontinence is the combination of both stress and urge incontinence. Mixed incontinence often affects women. 


There are many different causes of incontinence and wrecommend you visit your Dr  or healthcare professional if you feel you have experienced bladder leakage.   

Your Dr will be able to best determine what are the causes. 

If your Dr or Healthcare professional recommends using an incontinence aid, Ontex have large range from light to heavy  and all products are dermatologically tested.  You can also order free samples online from our website. All orders will be sent to you in discreet packaging


A useful aid is the Ontex Continence Care Tips booklet. The booklet provides tips on living with incontinence and how to continue to live a full and active life.  

For a free copy of the booklet use the contact us form on our website or if you are a healthcare professional contact your local Business Development Manager on 1300 788 601. 

For useful tips and advice we recommend reaching out to  The Continence Foundation of Australia. They have a free call helpline 1800 33 00 66 or go to their website www.continence.org.au 

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