Urinary Incontinence

Understanding Female and Male Incontinence: Causes, Types, and Treatments

Urinary incontinence is a common condition that affects men and women due to various factors such as childbirth, aging, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions. It can lead to involuntary leakage of urine, impacting one’s quality of life significantly.

Common Causes of Female Incontinence


Childbirth is hard on a woman’s body. We love those little bundles of joy, but we don’t love some of the side effects. Incontinence sometimes arrives with those adorable children because the muscles under the uterus and bladder, also known as the pelvic floor, have become weak or even damaged.


Urinary incontinence in aging women often results from weakened pelvic floor muscles and reduced bladder elasticity due to natural aging processes. Hormonal shifts during menopause can exacerbate symptoms.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes, particularly during menopause, can weaken pelvic floor muscles and decrease bladder control, leading to urinary incontinence in women.

Medical Conditions

Conditions like obesity, constipation, and side effects of medications can weaken pelvic floor muscles, leading to urinary incontinence.

Managing Psychological Symptoms

Luckily, there are no mental or emotional conditions that can cause or affect female incontinence. However, some physical ailments or habits can play into involuntary urinary incontinence and may affect one’s mental state.

Confidence can be impacted when you’re stressing about finding a public restroom or worried about leakage while in public, like at the store or the gym. 

Incontinence can also affect your sex life. The stress of penetration can cause an episode of involuntary urinary incontinence, which is embarrassing and uncomfortable for both parties. If female incontinence is inhibiting your sexual health, consider limiting your fluid intake for about an hour before intercourse and using the bathroom just beforehand. 

Certain positions can also help females control incontinence. If your partner is struggling, consider the side or behind the entry, which creates less pressure on the bladder. Being on top gives a woman greater control of her pelvic muscles; both of you may enjoy this position. Kegel exercises are a must if involuntary urinary is an issue during sex.

Types of Female Incontinence

As you learn about the different types of incontinence, it may feel like you can diagnose yourself. But it’s always good to talk to a qualified professional to get the help you need. Happy Valley Clinic in Utah County has a caring and knowledgeable staff that can help you know what type(s) of incontinence you have and what to do next.

There is only one type of incontinence that is caused by cognitive impairment. Functional incontinence is not associated with any physical problems in the urinary system. Alzheimer’s disease and head injury or immobility can cause functional incontinence also.

Stress Incontinence

Leakage during activities like coughing, laughing, or jumping is often caused by pregnancy, menopause, childbirth, or surgical trauma.

Urge Incontinence

Sudden and strong urges followed by leakage are associated with neurologic diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis or damage to bladder nerves.

Mixed Incontinence

A combination of stress and urge types is often caused by various factors mentioned above.

Overflow Incontinence

Frequent dribble due to incomplete bladder emptying, associated with conditions like enlarged prostate or weak muscles

Functional Incontinence

It is not caused by physical urinary system issues but by cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s or immobility.

Reflex Incontinence

Full bladder empties involuntarily due to a spinal cord injury around the T-12 vertebrae.

Impact and Concerns for Women

If you’re struggling with incontinence not caused by childbirth, then it’s time to take a look at your lifestyle. Are you overweight or obese? Do you smoke? Sometimes spicy foods, or those high in acid, like tomatoes and grapefruit, can be part of the problem. Continence, involuntary urinary incontinence can also be affected by alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

Even if pregnancy and childbirth are the cause of incontinence, there is still hope! Doctors have come up with devices that can be used to strengthen the pelvic floor. Other devices temporarily block the bladder, making being in public less stressful.

Female incontinence not only affects physical health but also mental and emotional well-being, impacting daily activities, self-esteem, and social interactions. It can also affect sexual health and intimacy between partners, causing both embarrassment and discomfort.

Urinary Incontinence in Men

Incontinence is an issue for men who have had an enlarged prostate. This can cause Overflow incontinence, a frequent dribble of urine because the bladder does not empty all the way. 

Other symptoms are just like stress incontinence. There are many causes for this incontinence, including spinal cord injury, diabetes, and the neurological diseases mentioned earlier. Weak muscles, constipation, and certain medications may also cause this condition.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available depending on which type of incontinence you’re experiencing. Some of the most simple for women include pads or vaginal inserts, also Kegel (or pelvic floor) exercises. 

There is also timed voiding and bladder training, which may help. Some medications can help if the cause is an enlarged prostate. More invasive options include a pessary for women and injections, catheters, or even surgery.

Emsella Pelvic Floor Therapy - Treating Incontinence and Female Sexual Dysfunction for Men and Women

Emsella enhances sexual satisfaction and can address issues such as vaginal laxity and decreased lubrication. Emsella is an excellent treatment after childbirth to treat postpartum incontinence. Using a 2.5 tesla magnet, Emcella sends varying levels of electromagnetic shockwaves to the perineal region.

Thousands of women have successfully been treated for incontinence and improved sexual function with Emcella. 

If you have questions about Emsella, please contact us or read more on our Emsella page.

Votiva - Total Vaginal Rejuvenation for Women

Votiva (Forma V) is an external and internal vaginal rejuvenation treatment. The wand sends out radio frequencies that address:

Patients who elect to have vaginal rejuvenation with Votiva will have 2 or 3 in-office visits for radiofrequency treatments. The procedure is painless and will not require much downtime. 

Each treatment involves FormaV and FractoraV frequencies to tighten internal and external tissues. For more information on this breakthrough procedure, visit our Votiva page here.

Other Recommendations

Be Supportive Partner

If you’re the partner of someone who suffers from incontinence, you will want to have a self-care plan. Be patient with them and with yourself. If you can recognize your feelings before reacting in public or private situations, especially during sex, your relationship will be happier. Everyone wants to be understood and valued despite their difficulties.

We offer compassionate care and expertise, helping women regain control and improve their quality of life. Contact Us to schedule your free consultation.

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