Urinary incontinence


Urinary incontinence is categorized into various types, such as urge urinary incontinence, characterized by a sudden need to urinate due to bladder spasms, and stress urinary incontinence, where urine leaks occur during activities like coughing or lifting. Each type has distinct causes and impacts on individuals’ lives, highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing this condition.

There are a few different types of urinary incontinence, split into groups by cause and effect.

Urge urinary incontinence

The sudden and strong urge to urinate, caused by a bladder spasm, is called urge urinary incontinence. This spasm can cause leaking of urine, either a lot or a little. Urination can become uncontrollable, you may need to urinate quite often, and often this urge is sudden.

The cause of the spasm may be a fright, but it can be caused by infections or other health conditions that alter the messages your bladder muscles get.

Read more about urge incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence

When you cough, laugh or lift something heavy, a little bit of urine may escape from your bladder.

This is called ‘stress’ urinary incontinence because the leaking of urine requires some form of stress or pressure applied to the bladder before urine will leak.

Read more about stress urinary incontinence

Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)