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Thread: What is the extent of incontinence?

  1. #1

    Default What is the extent of incontinence?

    What's it like to be incontinent? Can you lose control at ANY time?

    I'm wondering, can you lose control even when you're walking, or talking to someone? What about when public speaking? Running? Standing? etc.
    What is the extent that incontinence can reach?

    (Don't get me wrong, I don't wish to be incontinent, I'm just wondering what it's like because the only time I could lose control would be when I'm laying completely still with no other distractions, and willing XD)

  2. #2


    I guess if you are incontinent it doesn't matter where you are, or what you are doing. You are going to leak.

  3. #3


    I'm fairly sure you're starting from the fallacy that those with incontinence have control to begin with.
    Usually it means you don't at all, period.

  4. #4


    There are different types of incontinence and it can necessarily be seen as 'losing control' when an incontinent person voids their bladder, as like Shawcross pointed out, many incontinent people will not have control in the first place. Many incontinent people are not aware of any feeling in their bladder, and as such won't have any control over it. If somebody has total incontinence, and doesn't ever have any control over their bladder then my understanding is that urine can be passed at any time during any activity.

    Other people may be aware of their bladder, but not always able to hold it for the period of time required. This may mean that some of the time or for short periods they are able to control their bladder. It could be that a person with some control finds that they have a sudden urge to use the bathroom and are unable to make it time, resulting in an accident, or they may find that they lose control during certain activities. For example with stress incontinence it is common for people to leak when doing something which puts pressure on the bladder. This could be during physical activity (walking, running, jumping dancing) or from laughing, sneezing, coughing etc.

    Whilst I don't have incontinence my understanding is that it does not manifest itself in the same way, or to the same severity, in everybody. Individuals will have differing levels of control and awareness of their bladder, and as such some people may be able to control their bladder to some extent and in some situations, whilst others may have no control at all. It can also be something which varies from day-to-day, whereby a person may have some or full control one day and may find that they don't another.

    But in essence I think the answer to your question would be yes, it is certainly possible that an incontinent person could either lose control and empty their bladder, or simply have no awareness that they are urinating, during any of the activities that you mentioned. Incontinence can, and does in many people, extend to any time and anywhere and during anything. But obviously it will vary from person to person, and depend on the form and severity of their incontinence.

  5. #5


    I am a bedwetter as are my family. It is a form of incontinence. Reasons for bedwetting are numerous:
    * Bladder size - bed-wetting may be related to a small bladder size.
    * Inherited aspect - children whose parents used to wet the bed are more likely to do so themselves.
    * Infection - an infection in the bladder or kidneys may trigger bedwetting.
    * Constipation - this can lead to leakage of urine.
    * Anti-diuretic hormone - children who wet the bed may have a lower level of a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone, which suppresses the rate of urine production. This means they may make more urine than most people do at night.
    * Delayed growth and development - some children’s nervous system is not mature enough to be able to sense when the bladder is full.
    * Heavy sleeping - most doctors don't believe this alone can cause bedwetting, but in some cases it may play a role.
    * Diet - dairy products, citrus fruits, chocolate and foods containing high levels of artificial colour and sweetener have been connected with bedwetting.
    * Psychological and social factors - most often the cause of bed-wetting is not related to emotional problems.
    There are quite a few organisations able to furnish more information and/or help. I will not cite any for fear of promotion.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by bayray View Post
    What's it like to be incontinent? Can you lose control at ANY time?

    I'm wondering, can you lose control even when you're walking, or talking to someone? What about when public speaking? Running? Standing? etc.
    What is the extent that incontinence can reach?

    (Don't get me wrong, I don't wish to be incontinent, I'm just wondering what it's like because the only time I could lose control would be when I'm laying completely still with no other distractions, and willing XD)
    BabyJess summed it up pretty well, but you might want to do a simple internet search or check the Wiki. Incontinence is defined as an involuntary loss of urine or feces. There are many forms and levels of severity. Many millions of people have suffered brief stints of incontinence at some point in their life, however, they probably wouldn't label themselves "incontinent" or be diagnosed by a doctor. If it happens frequently enough to interfere with your daily life, then you need to see a doctor. It's important to understand that incontinence is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. This would be like having your knee slip out of the joint while walking is a symptom of some underlying problem with your knee.

    To answer your question more directly, I have urge incontinence due to overactive bladder (OAB) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 90% of the time I can't make it to the bathroom in time, which means, yes, I can and have lost control thousands of times while doing pretty much any activity. It's not fun, but I've lived with it for so long that I'm used to it. There are many options to try and "cure" or curtail incontinent episodes, but there is no one magical method to fix it.

  7. #7


    All of the above answers are correct and well said. So about the only thing I can add is me personally. While driving, walking, bending over, sitting up, talking to someone, reaching for something, just standing there or sitting... anytime it wants to - it goes. Like Spaz pointed out there are reasons FOR incontinence. Mine is nerve damage with a malformed bladder. I get both trickle and major heavy floods and can't tell when I'm going unless I feel either warm or a 'tickle' from another area. I can't tell you how many times I would be sitting down doing something and when I stand up I feel a 'cold' hit around the front waistline which means my shirt got wet, get up from sitting and see a lil wet spot or talking to someone the infamous tickle going down the inside of my leg. Those of course are the leaks.

    At other times I have just noticed that I was going doing certain things like I first listed. I don't constantly worry about it but I do try to pay attention because it helps with my intake/output time-line. That helps me figure out about when I'll need a change or if I'm already wet and had 'x' amount to drink or it's been 'x' amount of minutes if there is a chance of flooding/leaking. It doesn't always work out but for the most part it works. There are those who are incon but have feeling and it's more a race to the bathroom but that's what diapers are for - protection against accidents.

    I know of a bowel incon person that can only tell from noticeable weight, or when they notice a smell. But they are so used to it they don't always notice the smell before others. I am very thankful I don't have that level of problem. I really sympathize with those that do. I can only imagine the extra cleanups necessary. Also I have the luxury of being able to change in public stalls without people really noticing. (there are several times tho I've heard a comment afterward from hearing the crinkles and taping.) The few times I was messy there was no way everyone in the bathroom didn't know what I was doing. My bowel accidents are only now and then and mostly controllable. It does suck whenever I change then like 30 mins later have to go, then another change. It eats up the diaper budget faster.

  8. #8


    Ah yes, thanks for the detailed responses!

    I was just wondering because the activities that I listed I could NEVER pee, even if I tried because there is pressure and just too much going on - but I guess incontinence surpasses even that. The only way I could pee is if I stayed still and made myself.
    Or standing in front of a toilet - but I guess that's what being potty trained is eh? :\
    I really don't want to be incontinent, but I diaper trained myself - which means I can release willingly into the diaper much like a toilet lol

  9. #9


    There are times where I don't realize I have to go sometimes until I'm wet... Sometimes. But a majority of the time I can't control what happens. It's frustrating :/

  10. #10


    Incontinence can be really different for different people like BabyJess and the others said, mine for instance is very tricky! some days i can tell i need to go but don't make it, other days i just wet and feel it happening. It can happen at any time, some days it'll just go out of nowhere and others it's more if I laugh or sneeze or run or something like that to put pressure on my bladder.

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