Overflow incontinence is one of several different types of incontinence, the inability to control urination. Overflow incontinence occurs when you are unable to completely empty your bladder; this leads to overflow, which leaks out unexpectedly. You may or may not sense that your bladder is full. The leakage, which can cause embarrassment and discomfort, is not the only problem. Urine left in the bladder is a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to repeated urinary tract infections.
The thought of traveling to an exotic destination might sound enticing, but not when you know you'll be taking your overactive bladder along with you. The thought of frantically searching for a bathroom in an unfamiliar city might fill you with dread. But it is possible to travel successfully.
Too often, overactive bladder causes people to drop activities they once enjoyed and become isolated, says Nancy Muller, executive director of the National Association for Continence in Charleston, S.C. Yet...
Unlike other types of incontinence, overflow incontinence is more common in men than women. The most common cause in men is an enlarged prostate, which impedes the flow of urine out of the bladder. Other possible causes of overflow incontinence include:
Blockages of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) from tumors, urinary stones, scar tissue, swelling from infection, or kinks caused by dropping of the bladder within the abdomen
Weak bladder muscles, which are unable to squeeze the bladder empty
If you have problems with incontinence, it's important to speak with your doctor. Determining the type you have and the best treatment for it will begin with describing the problem. Your doctor may ask questions such as:
How often do you go to the bathroom?
When you go to the bathroom, do you have trouble starting or stopping the flow of urine?
Do you leak urine during certain activities?
Do you leak constantly?
Do you leak urine before you get to the bathroom?
Do you experience pain or burning when you urinate?