The most common types in women include stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI), and mixed urinary incontinence (MUI) in which a patient has both SUI and UUI. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is defined as urinary leakage associated with laughing, coughing, sneezing, jumping, or physical activity. It is caused by a loss of the support underneath the urethra usually caused by childbirth, obesity, age, or other disorders of connective tissue. With increases in intra-abdominal pressure (eg, from coughing or sneezing) the muscular tube of the urethra fails to close, leading to incontinence (like stepping on a water hose in sand).
Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) is defined as urinary leakage associated with a feeling of urge to urinate. Many times patients leak when they are not able to reach the bathroom quickly. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition affecting 1 in 6 adults. With OAB, the bladder muscle squeezes too often, causing frequent, strong sudden urges to go. As a result, patients experience urinary urgency and frequency and sometimes they can leak urine if they are not able to reach the bathroom quickly.