Stress Urinary Incontinence Vs. Overactive Bladder. What's the Difference?

Gotta Go, Gotta Go
As I arrived home from work and put the key into my front door I was suddenly overcome with the urge to urinate. I could barely get into the front door and down the hall to my bathroom before I began leaking urine! This wasn't the first time this had happened but I had to wonder what was happening to me and my bladder?

Many people find they are facing this scenario as they grow older. It is crucial to understand incontinence of any kind is not a result of aging. There are many different reasons this can happen and many of them are more common as we get older. However, it is critical to determine what is happening with your loss of bladder control since there are  different types of incontinence which require different treatment and management strategies. One of the most common issues is trying to figure out if you are dealing with stress urinary incontinence or overactive bladder. There are significant differences. Here are a few:

  • Physical stress-If you are experiencing stress urinary incontinence then your bladder leakage is usually brought on by physical stress. This can include but is not limited to: sneezing, coughing, strenuous physical activity (such as exercise), or even simply lifting something. If you are dealing with overactive bladder (or urge incontinence) this is most often not the case.

  • Outside stress-If you are experiencing overactive bladder many times you will find there are certain triggers. This can include but is not limited to: the sound of running water, cold weather, changing positions, showering and many other triggers. This is not the same as someone who has stress incontinence which usually requires a physical reaction to the body.

  • Previous physical injury-Many women who are experiencing stress urinary incontinence have sustained a previous injury to the pelvic muscles or bladder during pregnancy or childbirth. Unfortunately, this may not manifest for many years. In addition, the physical changes which can happen at menopause can often bring about stress urinary incontinence, as well. This is not most often not the case when it comes to overactive bladder.

Determining the kind of incontinence you are experiencing is important since there are different treatment options. There are exercises, medications, and other devices which can be used for both types of incontinence but surgery is usually reserved only for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.

It important to understand that seeking treatment is important in dealing with any type of incontinence. However, it can take some time for your symptoms to be resolved. In the meantime there are management strategies which can help you continue on with your normal routine. There are a variety of different incontinence products which are designed to help you manage your symptoms while you work, socialize and participate in your daily activities There are also incontinence supplies which will help you to protect bedding and furniture from unwanted leakage and help to minimize the embarrassment from leakage and accidents.

While it can seem daunting to find the right incontinence product to best fit your needs or those of someone in your care the good news is there is help. The CareGiver Partnership offers a highly knowledgeable all-female team who have each been a caregiver to a loved one. Since this is their only business, they know incontinence products inside and out

Try Before You Buy Incontinence Product Sample Service

According to Kimberly-Clark's consumer research the average consumer wastes over $130 the first time they buy incontinence products. It is easy to get confused about products, brands, styles, and sizes, as well as absorbency. Once a package is opened, it can’t be returned, making mistakes costly. In order to avoid making this costly mistake, take advantage of The CareGiver Partnership’s ‘try before you buy sample service.  Learn more in this short video.           

Avoid wasting money on trial and error. Try Before You Buy. 
Quickly sort through over 650 products.

 Samples can be purchased in sets of 2 to 4 for just $3.49.  For personalized attention service, speak with a knowledgeable female product specialist at 800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 central time.

Another very helpful tool is the Incontinence Product Finder, a simple tool which helps you quickly sort through over 650 product choices. 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353. 


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