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Kenneth E. Watts Medical Plaza


20911 Earl Street, Suite 140


Torrance, CA 90503



Phone: (310) 542-0199


Fax: (310) 542-4652


There are several types of urine incontinence:


Stress – the loss of urine that occurs with an increase in abdominal pressure, or an exertion. It commonly occurs with coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercise or even sexual intercourse. Treatments range from pelvic floor re-education, “kegels”, coaptite® urethral injection, or mid-urethral sling insertion. Weight loss and smoking cessation can also help.


Urge – the loss of urine that occurs from an unwanted bladder contraction. Typically described as “I can’t make it to the toilet”. It can be related to many other factors such as having an overactive bladder, intake of certain foods or drinks, prior pelvic surgery, nerve damage, and many pre-existing medical conditions.  Treatments include pelvic floor re-education, behavioral modification, bladder relaxant medications, botox bladder injections, InterStim® sacral neuromodulation, or treatment of any underlying condition that may be contributing to this symptom.


Mixed – a combination of both stress and urge incontinence, which commonly occur together.


Positional – the loss of urine primarily from a change in position, most commonly changing from a sitting to a standing position. This can be a form of stress incontinence, but may also indicate an anatomic abnormality such as pelvic prolapse.


Overflow – the loss of urine that occurs in the setting of significant urinary retention (inability to empty the bladder). The urine seems to “spill out”, often with movement. Treatments are aimed at resolving the urinary retention, either with pelvic floor re-eduation, InterStim® sacral neuromodulation, prolapse repair, or beginning an intermittent self-catheterization regimen.


Functional – the loss of urine that occurs secondary to conditions that make it difficult to reach the bathroom in time, such as dementia or arthritis. While this can be improved with pelvic floor re-education or medication, the mainstay of managing this type of incontinence is aimed at modifying one’s lifestyle to avoid delays in getting to the bathroom.  The use of a bedside commode is a common modification that can help with nighttime functional incontinence.


For more information about urinary incontinence