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Treatment options urinary incontinence

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence means that you aren’t always able to control when you urinate. For instance, some urine might come out at times when you haven’t meant it to, or you might leak sometimes when you cough, laugh or sneeze. Sometimes you might not make it to the bathroom in time before you begin leaking urine.

There are three types of urinary incontinence:

  1. Stress incontinence
  2. Urge incontinence
  3. Mixed incontinence

The type of urinary incontinence you may have depends on how and when you lose urine. Urinary incontinence can be extremely embarrassing, it can make you feel stressed, depressed, cause low self-esteem, or even shame. Some people feel isolated by their condition as it affects their work and social life. But it’s important to know that there are treatments and products that can help you.

This information was produced by the European Association of Urology (EAU) and updated in July 2022.

This chapter contains general information about urinary incontinence. If you have any specific questions about your individual medical situation you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. No website or leaflet can replace a personal conversation with your doctor.


  • Dr. Michael Van Balken, Arnhem (NL), EAU Patient Office
  • Prof. Dr. Stavros Gravas, Larissa (GR), EAU Guidelines on Non-neurogenic Male LUTS
  • Dr. Marie Carmela Lapitan, Manilla (PH), EAU Guidelines on Non-neurogenic Female LUTS
  • Prof. Véronique Phé, Paris (FR), EAU Guidelines on Non-neurogenic Female LUTS
  • Mrs. Mary-Lynne Van Poelgeest-Pomfret, Oegstgeest (NL) World Federation of Incontinence and Pelvic Problems (WFIPP)

This information has been reviewed by a lay panel.