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Urinary incontinence: symptoms and diagnosis

Learn about common symptoms of urinary incontinence and how a doctor may diagnose you.

Do I have urinary incontinence?

Have you experienced any of the most common symptoms of urinary incontinence?

Icon showing bladder leakage.

Unexpected leakage

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Difficulty holding your urine

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Sudden urge to urinate

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Urinating more than eight times a day

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Not sure if you have urinary incontinence?

If you find yourself using secret strategies to manage bladder leakage, it may be time to explore your options. Take the quiz to learn more about symptoms and how to talk to your doctor.

What type of urinary incontinence do I have?

Icon showing stress urinary incontinence.

Stress urinary incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is the loss of urine during any movement that puts pressure on the bladder, such as laughing, sneezing, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. Some potential causes include age and menopause, pregnancy, injuries to the pelvic region, family history, obesity/high BMI, and diet.


Hypermobility occurs when the bladder, bladder neck, and urethra are no longer adequately supported. Pressure caused by coughing or sneezing can push the bladder neck and urethra downward, causing leaks.

Intrinsic sphincter deficiency

Intrinsic sphincter deficiency is the inability of the sphincter muscle to close completely, which causes urine leakage. This can happen as a result of damage to the nerves connected to the sphincter and sphincter muscle.

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Urge urinary incontinence

Urge urinary incontinence is often described by patients as needing to go even if they just went. Some common symptoms include urinating more than eight times a day or a strong and sudden desire to urinate that results in involuntary leakage of urine. Results in involuntary leakage of urine vary for all patients. 

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Mixed urinary incontinence

Mixed incontinence is involuntary bladder leakage associated with a combination of both urge and stress urinary incontinence.

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Depending on the severity, urinary incontinence can be treated several ways. Talk with your doctor to determine which treatment is right for you.

Learn more about treatments

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Ready to talk to a specialist?

There are many doctors who specialize in pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence. You can search by city, state, or ZIP code to find the right one for you.

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