Stress Urinary Incontinence Versus Overactive Bladder. What's the difference?

Know the differences between SUI and OAB. 
There is a real difference

Many people are surprised at learning not all incontinence is the same. There are different types of incontinence and knowing what kind you have is an important part of managing your incontinence effectively. This is especially true if you are a caregiver for someone who is dealing with incontinence. Knowing the type of incontinence can help you to choose the right incontinence supplies and treatment.

There are two major types of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence and overactive bladder are most commonly found among women. While it can seem easier to put the two types of incontinence together it is important to know the differences and be aware of them. When you are able to do this you can find the right management and treatment strategies and find the best incontinence products for your specific needs. To learn more The Caregiver Partnership has an expansive library on the topic of incontinence.

Whats the best product for me or my loved one?
It can be overwhelming to try and determine exactly what incontinence supplies you or the loved one in your care may need. There are more choices than ever before and they’re changing all the time. This creates more confusion. The Caregiver Partnership understands this and have created an easy to use style guide which explains all the style options that can help you determine what incontinence products are right for you or you can call and speak with one of their knowledgeable ladies.

It is also important to note some women may have symptoms of both types of incontinence at the same time. This is referred to as mixed incontinence. If this is what you are experiencing it is important to identify what symptoms are bothering you the most. Below are the main symptoms of each type of incontinence.

Urge Incontinence

  • This is characterized by the loss of urine which is associated with an intense urge to urinate.
  • Although it occurs spontaneously it is most often preceded by a trigger such as: the sound of running water, showering, cold water or even changing positions. 
  • Urge incontinence is most often associated with urinary urgency, frequency and nocturia, or urination at night.
  • This type of incontinence is brought on by an overactive bladder muscles. 
Stress Incontinence

  • Stress incontinence is loss of urine without an urge to void which is usually triggered by an activity causing an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. 
  • This is most often brought on by physical activity such as: coughing, sneezing, jumping or lifting. Many women report this happening while they exercise. 
  • Stress incontinence is most often brought on by weakened pelvic muscles which can happen during the stress of pregnancy and childbirth or the hormonal changes that can happen at menopause. 
It should also be noted incontinence is not a normal part of aging. While the chances of developing incontinence increase as we age, it should never be written off as “simply getting older”. If you are experiencing incontinence it is important to consult your healthcare provider for treatment and information about management strategies.

Get real help from real people.

Since 2004, The Caregiver Partnership has been helping people just like you. Unlike the big box stores which usually only offer 3 brands of incontinence products, The CareGiver Partnership shops the world over to find the best incontinence products - those used by consumers and professionals alike. We offer over 733 choices. Ten times more brands, styles, sizes and absorbencies than even the big box stores. And, we have knowledgeable Product Specialists you can speak with when you call 1-800-985-1353.

However, even when you have an idea of what incontinence products you are looking for it can still be overwhelming. That’s why the free & easy Incontinence Product Finder was developed. It saves you time, money and frustration by making it easy to sort through hundreds of products - fast. The video below explains how it works.

Watch this video about The Incontinence Product Finder

Consumers wasting $130 buying incontinence products

Did you know those buying incontinence products for the first time waste $130 on average in trial and error mode trying to figure out what will work best for them. This is research from the makers of Depend and Poise. The CareGiver Partnership recognizes this and that’s why they provide online tools to help you select the best choice. They also have a team of Product Specialist who are expert on all the products offered and can send you samples ($3.49 each) to try before you buy. Questions? Call them at 1-800-985-1353.

Watch this video to learn more about Try Before You Buy

Further Reading: 

Manage Urinary Incontinence

Adult Incontinence Pads and Boosters

Same Problems, Changing Times for Female Incontinence

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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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