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6 Lesser-Known Causes of Incontinence: It's More Common Than You Think

While some causes of incontinence are obvious, there are lesser known causes that can lead to disruption in daily life. Let's talk about the ones to be aware of.

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6 Lesser-Known Causes of Incontinence: It's More Common Than You Think
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6 Lesser-Known Causes of Incontinence: It's More Common Than You Think

While some causes of incontinence are obvious, there are lesser known causes that can lead to disruption in daily life.
Let's talk about the ones to be aware of.

6 Lesser-Known Causes of Incontinence: It's More Common Than You Think

While some causes of incontinence are obvious, there are lesser known causes that can lead to disruption in daily life.
Let's talk about the ones to be aware of.

Did you know more than 7 million Britons have some form of incontinence? With more than 6 in 10 women and approximately 3 in 10 men experiencing incontinence, it’s no surprise there are many lesser-known causes.

Incontinence can have a small or large impact on everyday life, depending on its cause, its nature and its treatment. While continence management differs from individual to individual, understanding the causes and how they can be mitigated or managed can lead to a richer day-to-day experience for all.*

Typical Signs of Incontinence

Some signs of urinary or bowel incontinence are obvious and they may include:

  • The sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate
  • Experiencing urine leaks during exercising, sneezing or coughing
  • Frequent, increased urination
  • ‘Dribbling’ of urination in between visits to the bathroom
  • An inability to urinate
  • Bedwetting

Should you begin to experience any of these symptoms, it’s advised to speak to your doctor, who can examine your lifestyle and health to identify the cause of your incontinence. Here are some of the lesser-known causes of incontinence.

Other Causes of Incontinence

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a digestive condition that can cause constipation. This can result in urinary incontinence because of the pressure that over-full bowels place on bladders.

If you’re experiencing IBS-related constipation, this can lead to either temporary or long-term urinary incontinence. Research has also indicated that IBS can be linked to overactive bladder syndrome, resulting in bladder muscles contracting too often, leading to urinary incontinence.

2. Certain Medications

Have you ever taken medicine that’s increased your need to urinate? Some prescription medications can lead to both increases in the amount of urine your body creates, and impact the way that urine is stored and passed. Medicines that treat high blood pressure, diuretics, hormone replacement therapy drugs and some sedatives have all been linked to urinary incontinence.

If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence and have recently started taking a new medication, discuss this with your doctor. They’ll be able to advise what your options are in assessing the cause and treatment of your incontinence.

3. Fungal Infections

Thrush is a common yeast infection, with symptoms including vaginal discharge, irritation, and soreness or stinging during urination. In certain thrush cases, the infection can reach into the bladder and urinary tract, resulting in a frequent and urgent need to urinate.

There’s good news for this source of incontinence: thrush is generally straightforward to treat. Your doctor can assist you in treatment options depending on the nature and severity of the thrush.

4. Nerve Damage

As the bladder is controlled by nerves, any damage to those nerves can result in a weakened bladder and urinary incontinence. Chronic diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes have all been linked to incontinence caused by nerve damage.

In treating this iteration of incontinence, it’s important to ensure the underlying condition itself is treated and managed. This can help to prevent further nerve damage or any more bladder problems. While nerve damage is difficult or impossible to reverse, medical practitioners can prescribe various treatments that aid in relieving symptoms.

5. Premenstrual Syndrome

Women are twice as likely as men to experience incontinence, so it’s no surprise that premenstrual syndrome can be a leading cause of urinary incontinence.

As hormone changes happen throughout the course of each month, research points to these changes affecting how the bladder muscle’sfunction.

6. Surgery

A wide range of surgeries can be linked to urinary incontinence, whether as a result of a bladder prolapse (where a bladder ‘falls’ and pushes into the vagina) or damage to nerves around the pelvis and bladder.

Should you experience urinary incontinence post-surgery, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor. Treatment may be required in order to ensure appropriate healing and a full recovery.

Four Types of Urinary Incontinence

Alongside these lesser known causes of incontinence, there are four general, common types of urinary incontinence, including:

  • Stress incontinence -

This is the most common type of urinary incontinence, caused by pressure on the bladder such as bending, lifting, exercising, jumping, coughing and sneezing. Being overweight can also lead to strains on the bladder, as well as weakened pelvic floor muscles. This kind of incontinence is most likely to occur in females.

  • Overflow incontinence -

This occurs when the body produces too much urine for the bladder to hold or if the bladder is full and is unable to empty, resulting in a leak. This is commonly associated with prostate problems or surgery.

  • Overactive bladder -

Also referred to as urge incontinence, this condition leads to contractions within the bladder muscles, sending a message about the need to urinate even if the bladder is empty at the time. Physical problems, such as damage to the spine, brain or nerves, can result in an overactive bladder.

  • Function incontinence -

This type of incontinence is related to diseases or disabilities that can make it difficult for an individual to get to a bathroom in time.

If you’re experiencing incontinence and you’re unsure of its cause, noting your symptoms can help your doctor to identify the underlying cause and type. This greatly benefits building a sustainable treatment plan based on lifestyle factors, incontinence needs and other treatment options.

Simplifying Continence Management

Whatever the underlying cause, incontinence can get in the way of everyday living without proper treatment. ConfidenceClub’s continence management products help avoid the confusion, expense and inconvenience of shopping for continence management products. Instead, enjoy personalised service and home delivery of European-made continence management products.

Our trusted range of continence management products caters for all ages and continence needs, no matter the reason for the incontinence. Whether you’re in need of pull-up pants, all-in-one slips or accessories, you’ll find the product for easy everyday continence management within the ConfidenceClub range.


*Content of this article is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.