About Urinary Incontinence

A grandfather fishing with his son and grandson


Urinary incontinence refers to the condition when you lose all control of your bladder. This means you lose the ability to control when you urinate. By some estimates, as many as one in four adults in the US suffer from this condition. However, there are several types of urinary incontinence, and each type of incontinence has its own causes, as well as its own unique symptoms and solutions.

Urinary incontinence also doesn’t indicate zero control over when and how much you urinate. In fact, urinary incontinence in men can range from leaking only a small amount of urine (such as when laughing, sneezing, or coughing) to full-on unanticipated and sudden streams of urine. The severity of urinary incontinence symptoms can be — to an extent — dictated by the type. And that’s why it is vital to take any and all symptoms seriously and talk to a qualified doctor about it. Thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, incontinence can be treated and — with the right solution — managed on a daily basis so that you can go about your day-to-day feeling confident, and without worrying about constantly monitoring your bladder. You’re also not alone. Millions of adults in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence. And while it is most common in people older than 50, it also affects younger adults.

At Men’s Liberty, we always encourage both men and women to be vocal about their health concerns to their doctor, no matter how sensitive the matter is. If you are experiencing incontinence and you’re hiding your condition hoping it will go away on its own, you risk getting urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin infections, sores, rashes, and other conditions that are damaging to your overall health.

Many people also find themselves avoiding friends, family, and social interactions because of embarrassment and fear. But the thing is, not consulting with a healthcare provider may actually worsen your symptoms. So if you are experiencing symptoms, please reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’re here to help you learn more about urinary incontinence, specifically about the different types of urinary incontinence you may be experiencing. 

The Different Types of Urinary Incontinence

All types of urinary incontinence are defined by leakage, and your exact symptoms will vary based on the incontinence you are dealing with. But nailing down exactly which of all the different types of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing can only be confirmed by visiting your doctor. 

However, it’s always good to go into those conversations being as informed as possible. So, before you put your plan into action, read this page in its entirety to learn everything you need to know about the different types of urinary incontinence, including their causes, symptoms and more.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is also known as an overactive bladder. It occurs when you feel the need to urinate, even when your bladder is not full. As you can imagine, this can cause a lot of anxiety, especially in social situations, as you constantly feel like you need to go to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, in addition to that urge incontinence definition, your bladder may constantly squeeze in order to remove urine that’s not there — because it also thinks it’s full. And when urges that are typically false turn out to be true, it can prevent people from making it to the bathroom in time.

Urge incontinence causes vary heavily, but some of the most common causes are:

  • Prostate surgery.
  • Overdosing on caffeine.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Neurological conditions.

Urge incontinence symptoms may also surface for no discernable reason at all. Aging, however, does play a role, and urge incontinence treatment does exist. A 24/7 external catheter is also a solution.

Stress Incontinence

The cause of stress incontinence is — surprisingly — not necessarily related to stress.

Well then, what is stress urinary incontinence?

The name, stress incontinence, has to do with putting physical stress — as opposed to emotional stress — on your bladder when you laugh, cough, exercise, or sneeze. Those activities can put too much pressure on the bladder, and that pressure can inadvertently force urine out.

Men who suffer from stress incontinence often also suffer from urge incontinence, the combination of which is known as mixed urge and stress urinary incontinence. And both those types can make it impossible for men to live their lives to their fullest for constant fear of leakage.

Most men will experience stress incontinence because of a weakened urethral sphincter. It also could be a problem with the pelvic floor muscles. Again, just like with urge incontinence, age is a significant factor in the development of stress incontinence. Injuries, such as an accident or a recent surgery, can also cause stress incontinence — even only temporarily, in some cases.

Learn more about stress incontinence by clicking the button below:


Functional Incontinence

Surprisingly not all types of urinary incontinence indicate that something is wrong with your bladder. Functional incontinence, as the name suggests, applies to people who lack the function — i.e. the physical or mental ability — to make it to the bathroom in time.

Someone who’s physically disabled or has a neurological health condition that affects their ability to gauge when they need to go often struggle to adhere to the call of nature in time.

These people often require caregivers to support them in making it to the bathroom in time.

Overflow Incontinence

This type of urinary incontinence occurs when you’re unable to fully empty your bladder due to some sort of blockage or otherwise, and that causes it to overflow. Blockage prevents the bladder from removing urine, so leakage can occur without warning as the bladder becomes too full.

Some of the most common causes of blockages include a narrow urethra, nerve damage, and an enlarged prostate. Bowel surgery and back surgery can also cause bladder blockages.

Symptoms of overflow incontinence may include:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Having to strain to urinate.
  • A weak stream.
  • Pressure in the lower abdomen.

Additionally, if you have existing prostate issues, you may also develop overflow incontinence at some point. Men who frequently get UTIs may also suffer from overflow incontinence.

Reflex Incontinence

Reflex incontinence is often a symptom of some kind of neurological problem. What happens is, that the brain does not correctly process and send signals to the bladder telling it that it’s time to go. In other words, you won’t feel the urge to use the bathroom in your lower abdomen.

Because of the lack of communication between the brain and the bladder, men in this scenario find the muscles in their bladder contracting without any prior warning. Reflex incontinence is one of the most difficult forms of incontinence, as few treatments have noticeable results.

Mixed Incontinence

Another one of the different type of urinary incontinence is mixed incontinence. As you may suspect, mixed incontinence is actually any combination of other types of incontinence. It is not unheard of for men to simultaneously have two — or even three types — of urinary incontinence.

Mixed urge and stress urinary incontinence is perhaps the most common combination. Men’s Liberty understands how difficult it can be to live with the symptoms of more than one kind of incontinence. Our external catheter kits are there to help you reclaim your freedom.

Temporary vs. Persistent Incontinence

These are more distinctions than actual types of urinary incontinence, as it’s not always a chronic problem. Some men may experience a form of incontinence that goes away over time.

For example, if you have a urinary tract infection causing your incontinence, you may find that treating the infection clears up your incontinence as well. Medication can also cause temporary incontinence. Prescription drugs, such as diuretics, often cause incontinence as a side effect.

Alternatively, someone with a neurological condition or severe trauma following an accident or surgery may have to live with incontinence for the rest of their lives. Men who have been treated for prostate cancer or diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, disease, for example, have a higher chance of being diagnosed with persistent — i.e. Long-term — incontinence.

Learn more about temporary vs persistent incontinence by clicking the button below:


Take Control Of Your Male Urinary Incontinence With Men’s Liberty!

It can be worrisome when the first signs of incontinence appear, but there is help available. Men’s Liberty external catheters offer a convenient, non-invasive, and discreet option for men suffering from all types of urinary incontinence, including temporary and persistent incontinence.

When you have no control over your bladder, it may seem like your whole day revolves around your bathroom visits. But you should not let this condition dictate your life. You should not let it keep you at home versus going about your daily routine or having a healthy social life.

All it takes is a little planning, and Men’s Liberty has got you covered.

With 20+ years of clinical backing and research, we’ve developed an effortless, painless, and ultimately better way to manage incontinence.

Men’s Liberty is a unique, patented external urine collection device. And while it may sound like any other external catheter, what makes it unique is that it directs the urine away from your skin. The benefits? Reduced risk of UTIs; reduced risk of skin irritation; 100% protection against leaks.

Each unit has a 24-hour wear time, and you can easily wear it under the pants or shorts (the catheter bag attaches to the hip, just like other external catheters). However, unlike adult diapers and pads, Men’s Liberty is discreet. It is odor-free, and nobody will be able to tell you’re wearing it.

And the best part is, Men’s Liberty is covered by Medicaid, Medicare, VA/Tricare, Worker’s Comp, and over 3,000 private insurance plans. Thousands of satisfied men have switched from diapers and traditional condom catheters to Men’s Liberty with incredible results.

To start your own journey toward freedom from incontinence and get your confidence back, visit our contact page or call us at 888-412-9329. Or, browse the store to learn more about our external catheter starter bundles. Take Control Of Your Male Urinary Incontinence With Men’s Liberty!