Skip to main content
UI Hero

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a condition that describes any involuntary leakage of urine. The condition is categorized according to its underlying cause. Urinary incontinence results from complications in either filling, storing, or emptying the bladder and some may suffer from a combination of these issues.1


The three major types of urinary incontinence are defined as:

  • Stress incontinence- occurring when there is an increase in abdominal pressure, such as when coughing or sneezing.2
  • Urge incontinence- occurring just after one senses the 'urge' to urinate.3
  • Overflow incontinence- occurring in conjunction with an inability to fully empty one's bladder.4

Other types of UI include:

  • Reflex incontinence- resulting from neurological abnormality, trauma or disease.

Functional incontinence- an inability to remain continent due to mental incapacitation or physical immobility.5

Urinary Incontinence Infographic

Download PDF



  1. 1,3,4,10,11,13,15,28,29,40Leaver, R. (2017). Assessing patients with urinary incontinence: the basics. Journal Of Community Nursing, 31(1), 40-46.
  2. 2,5,12,16,19,23,26,31,32,33,42,43Bardsley, A. (2016). An overview of urinary incontinence. British Journal Of Nursing, 25(18), S14-S21.
  3. 6,14,17,18,20,30,35,37,38,39,44Testa, A. (2015). Understanding Urinary Incontinence in Adults. Urologic Nursing, 35(2), 82-86. doi:10.7257/1053-816X.2015.35.2.82
  4. 7,21,24,25,27,34,41,45Barrie, M. (2015). Identifying urinary incontinence in community patients. Journal Of Community Nursing, 29(6), 45-52.
  5. 8,9Gorina, Y., Schappert, S., Bercovitz, A., Elgaddal, N., & Kramarow, E. (2014). Prevalence of incontinence among older americans. Vital & Health Statistics. Series 3, Analytical And Epidemiological Studies, (36), 1-33
  6. 22Beeckman, D., Van Damme, N., Van den Bussche, K., & De Meyer, D. (2015). Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD): an update. Dermatological Nursing, 14(4), 32-36.
  7. 36Nazarko, L. (2015). Person-centred care of women with urinary incontinence. Nurse Prescribing, 13(6), 288-293.