What is Mixed Incontinence?
Mixed urinary incontinence is when you have symptoms of both of stress incontinence and urge incontinence. For example, you may leak urine if you cough or sneeze, but also experience the very intense urges to pass urine caused by urge incontinence.
How common is Mixed Incontinence?
Although no statistics are available specifically for mixed incontinence, it is relatively common for women to experience mixed incontinence.
What Causes Mixed Incontinence?
The causes of mixed incontinence are those of the specific individual conditions - stress incontinence and urge incontinence. As their causes are different it is not unusual for them to co-exist side by side.
Diagnosing Mixed Incontinence
Again the methods of diagnosis are the same as those for the individual conditions, stress incontinence and urge incontinence. As many of the tests determine which type of incontinence is being experienced, with mixed incontinence then the results of more of these tests is likely to be positive if both types are exhibited.
The starting point is usually a bladder diary to record your fluid intake (what and how much you drink) and fluid output (the amount of urine you produce, and when you pass urine), whether you had an urge to urinate and the number of times you unintentionally pass urine.
Your health professional is likely to do a test on a sample of your urine to check that your incontinence isn’t being caused by a secondary cause such as an infection in your urinary tract and they may also do a blood test to check that your kidneys are working properly. It could be that you are experiencing one type of incontinence but a secondary cause is resulting in the second type of incontinence (e.g. such as a urine infection causing urge incontinence).
Managing Mixed Incontinence
If you do have both types, you'll find that one type creates more of a problem for you than the other. This is the one that should be treated first.
No matter what type of Incontinence you or the person you care for is experiencing it is important you discuss this with a Health Professional. Incontinence is often a symptom of an underlying condition and in many cases simple steps can help improve the condition.