What is overflow incontinence?

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence. It is the inability to control the release of urine. Overflow incontinence may occur when the bladder neck or the urethra is blocked. Or it may happen when the bladder muscles aren't strong enough to empty the bladder. Urine builds up in the bladder until it becomes so full that it cannot hold any more urine. Then it leaks out (overflows) without a person being able to stop it.

Treatment will depend on the cause. Overflow incontinence may be treated with surgery. Or it may involve changing or stopping medicines you are taking if they affect the bladder's ability to empty. Treating constipation may help. Timed voiding (where you schedule regular times to use the toilet) may also help. Other treatment options may include using a urinary catheter or sacral nerve stimulation.

What are the symptoms of overflow incontinence?

Symptoms of overflow incontinence include:

  • An ongoing leaking or dribbling of urine, or the sudden release of urine.
  • A feeling of fullness in the bladder even after urination.
  • A urine stream that stops and restarts during urination.
  • Difficulty urinating even while feeling the urge to urinate.

How is overflow incontinence treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause. It may include the use of a urinary catheter. Sometimes treatment involves medicines to shrink the prostate or surgery to remove a blockage or growth in the urinary tract. If the cause is a medicine you're taking, your doctor may change or stop your medicine.

What is overflow incontinence?

Overflow incontinence means that you may have the urge to urinate, but you can release only a small amount. Then later, urine leaks out. Or it can mean that your bladder becomes too full and then leaks urine.

What causes overflow incontinence?

Overflow incontinence can be caused by a blockage in the urinary tract. Or it can happen when the bladder isn't able to empty completely when a person urinates. Overflow incontinence may also be caused by taking a medicine that affects the bladder's ability to empty.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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