what is urge incontinence?

What is Urge Incontinence?

What is Urge Incontinence?

Urge incontinence, sometimes referred to as “overactive bladder,” is a condition in which a person  experiences a quick, sudden need to urinate followed by leakage. Both men and women can experience it, and for those who do, it’s usually a symptom of another medical issue.


How Urge Incontinence Happens

Urge Incontinence occurs when the nervous system sends too many signals to the bladder, causing it to contract at inappropriate times. These uncontrolled contractions lead to  moderate leakage. The severity depends on the frequency and strength of the signals sent to the bladder.


Causes and Risk Factors

Here are some of the most common causes and risk factors for urge incontinence:


Nerve Damage

Damage to the nervous system can cause or increase how often urge incontinence occurs. If the nerves experience trauma, they may not function normally, resulting in abnormal signals that cause the bladder to contract and release urine.

Alzheimer’s Disease

People with Alzheimer’s may experience urge incontinence as one of their symptoms. Alzheimer’s interferes with the body’s nervous system, which can sometimes lead to more overactivity in the bladder.

Parkinson’s Disease  

A possible symptom of Parkinson’s Disease is urge incontinence. As the body loses more nerve cells, normal control over the urinary system can be lost, resulting in uncontrolled contractions of the bladder. Not everyone with Parkinson’s will develop urge incontinence, and the severity will vary from person to person.

Abnormal Nerve Function

It’s very possible to have an overactive bladder without also having a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s. Sometimes the nerves simply don’t function as intended. For these people, an overactive bladder is part of how their body works.


Diabetes can increase the risk of experiencing urge incontinence. Without the proper supply of glucose to nerve cells (which diabetes can interfere with), the cells may become damaged or function abnormally.


Solutions and Treatment

The most common result of urge incontinence is moderate leakage, and the product made to handle that kind of output is protective underwear, or “pull-ons.” Protective underwear uses special polymers to absorb larger quantities of liquid and protect against dampness. For the best protection, it’s very important to make sure that the product is fitted properly. Product experts like us can help determine the correct size for you.

Some insurance plans cover pull ons, which means it could be possible to get them at little to no cost for you. To find out if your insurance can cover your supplies, complete the incontinence product finder below or contact us today.



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Unless otherwise noted, the recommendations in this document were obtained from the sources indicated.  Be advised that information contained herein is intended to serve as a useful reference for informational purposes only. HCD cannot be held responsible for the continued accuracy of or for any errors or omissions in the information. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.