There are a number of different types of incontinence, including;
- Stress incontinence is the leakage of urine due to an increase in intra abdominal pressure, such as with a cough, sneeze, squatting, lifting, running, etc. This is the most common type of urinary incontinence, and is estimated to affect 1 in 5 women.
- Urge incontinence (Overactive Bladder) is leakage of urine accompanied by a strong urge to urinate, may be associated with triggers such as a running tap, key in the front door etc.
- Urgency is frequent, strong urges to urinate, but without leakage
- Flatus incontinence is uncontrolled loss of wind
- Faecal incontinence can include staining or leakage of faeces. There may be a history of damage to the anal sphincter during child birth.
Incontinence can be very distressing for women, and can significantly affect their quality of life. However recent reports by the National institute of Health, suggest that only half of those suffering from incontinence report their symptoms to a healthcare provider.
Research strongly supports physiotherapy in the treatment of incontinence. Physiotherapy incorporates pelvic floor rehabilitation, retraining of bladder or bowel reflexes, lifestyle and postural advice as well as correct defection techniques. Biofeedback may also be used.