Australian Menopause Society. Stress and urge incontinence info sheet. 2013. (accessed 7 April 2022)

British Medical Journal. Best practice: urinary incontinence in women. 2020. (accessed 7 April 2022)

Kołodyńska G, Zalewski M, Rożek-Piechura K. Urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women—causes, symptoms, treatment. Prz Menopauzalny. 2019; 18:(1)46-50

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Incontinence, urinary, in women. 2019a.!scenario:1 (accessed 7 April 2022)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women: management. 2019b. (accessed 7 April 2022)

Treatment of urge incontinence in women

02 May 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 5

Urge incontinence is caused by overly active or irritated bladder muscles. Its most common symptom is the frequent and sudden urge to urinate, with occasional leakage of urine. Mixed incontinence can occur when there is muscle weakness and an uncontrollable need to void the bladder.

Key diagnostic factors include the presence of risk factors, involuntary urine leakage on effort, exertion, sneezing, or coughing, involuntary urine leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency and the frequency to urinate (BMJ, 2020). Other diagnostic factors include presence of nocturia, abnormal bulbocavernosus and wink reflexes, weakened sphincter tone and chronic heart failure (BMJ, 2020). Risk factors include older age, white ethnicity and obesity (BMJ, 2020).

This type of urinary incontinence may be caused by changes in anatomical support and/or neuromuscular function of the pelvic floor, or it may be idiopathic (BMJ, 2020). There is a high incidence of stress and urge incontinence in women with chronic lower back pain, caused by poor motor control in the local lower back and pelvic floor muscles responsible for continence while also supporting the spine. Therefore, both problems are often treatable with transverses abdominus exercises, known as core stabilising exercises (Australian Menopause Society, 2013).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Community Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for district and community nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month