Total Incontinence

Total Incontinence


Total incontinence is the continuous and total loss of urinary control. It means that you are always leaking urine. It happens when the muscle that controls the release of urine (sphincter) no longer works.

What causes total incontinence?

One cause of total incontinence is neurogenic bladder. This nerve problem prevents the bladder from emptying as it should. Other causes can be spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders that affect nerve function. In women it can be caused by an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the vagina.

How is it treated?

Total incontinence is usually treated by using a thin flexible tube, called a catheter. You use it to empty the bladder regularly. Absorbent products such as pads or disposable underwear are usually used when other methods of treating incontinence haven't worked or can't be used. These methods may help you manage the problem.


Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Avery L. Seifert MD - Urology