What is Incontinence?

Bladder incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Although the chance of becoming incontinent increases with pregnancy and/or age, it happens to people of all ages and is not a natural part of ageing.

Classifications of Incontinence:

Stress – Loss of urine secondary to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure (coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, exercise or transitional movements)

Urge – Urine loss associated with a strong, uncontrollable need to void. Inability to delay voiding.

Mixed Incontinence – Urine loss associated with increases in intra-abdominal pressure (stress incontinence) AND with an intense urge to void (urge incontinence)

Functional – Urine loss associated with impairment of cognitive or physical function (eg. fractured hip), psychological unwillingness (dementia) or environmental barriers to the toilet

Overflow – Bladder does not empty normally and becomes very full (distended). Usually this is a neurological problem


Benefits of Chartered Physiotherapy

Treatment for incontinence varies depending on what is causing it. We will perform an internal assessment of the muscles of your pelvic floor for both weakness and tension to determine the appropriate treatment plan to restore the function of your pelvic floor.

At Galway Physio Clinic, we use both internal palpation and real-time ultrasound ( )to help you learn how to contract and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Research shows that up to 75% of women, based on verbal and written instruction alone, are not contracting their pelvic floor correctly. We will also help you learn behavioural changes involving diet and toileting patterns to decrease any irritations to the bladder/bowel.

What the research says:

92% of those still incontinent at 12 weeks will still be incontinent at 5 years (Viktrup et al 2000)

5-7 years after delivery 44.6% of women have some degree of incontinence (Wilson et al 2002)

50% of women at some point in their life cycle experience some urinary incontinence (Hannestad 2000)

Urinary incontinence was noted in 78% of 200 women with Low Back Pain (Eliasson 2008)


The evidence clearly shows that urinary incontinence that persists past the 12 week point post-partum will continue to persist at 5 years. Wearing pads/diapers to be active is not a solution. Don’t let your pelvic floor interfere with your goal to have an active lifestyle.

We are here to help