This post was reviewed by our Director of Clinical Excellence and Oversight.
Overflow incontinence is a condition in which the bladder does not properly empty, causing it to become too full. This kind of incontinence is far more common in men than women.
How Overflow Incontinence Happens:
Overflow incontinence begins with urine production in the kidneys. Urine leaves the kidneys and travels into the bladder where it waits to be emptied. Normally, the bladder contracts to release urine, but during overflow incontinence, this doesn’t happen. The bladder remains full and continues to fill until it reaches a point where it overflows and urine involuntarily leaves the body.
Causes and Risk Factors of Overflow Incontinence
Here are the most common causes and risk factors that can cause overflow incontinence:
A common cause of overflow incontinence in men is the enlargement of the prostate.
The prostate gland surrounds and makes contact with the urethra. As men get older, the prostate can enlarge and put pressure on the urethra, preventing the flow of urine. When the bladder becomes too full, the pressure is enough to push urine through and cause leakage.
Any blockage in the urethra that prevents urine from leaving the body can lead to overflow incontinence. If the urine cannot leave the bladder, then it will continue to fill, eventually overflowing.
It’s possible for overflow incontinence to be the result of a nerve condition. If the nerves do not properly send signals to the bladder, then the bladder may not be able to empty. For some people, the signal may not be strong enough to fully contract and empty the bladder completely. For others, the bladder may not contract at all. In some cases, the feeling of a full bladders is not properly transmitted to the brain, resulting in an urgent need to visit the bathroom.
Solutions for Overflow Incontinence
The right product for overflow incontinence depends on the leakage level. If the output is small, then a bladder control pad may be enough protection. If there is a need for more absorbency, then either protective underwear or adult briefs may be required.
The good news is that all three of these products might be covered by an insurance plan. If they are, the right incontinence product for your needs could be delivered to you at little or no cost. To find out more about the coverage options of your plan, sign up online for incontinence supplies or contact us today.