Mixed Incontinence - Symptoms, Causes And Management

Here we explain what mixed incontinence is, its causes and symptoms, and our tips on managing the condition daily.

Mixed Incontinence - Symptoms, Causes And Management

Here we explain what mixed incontinence is, its causes and symptoms, and our tips on managing the condition daily.

mixed incontinence symptoms causes management

In Australia, urinary incontinence affects 1 in 3 women, 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 children.

The condition is defined by the involuntary loss of urine. And there are in fact a few different types of urinary incontinence. Some of the main types include:

Stress incontinence - small amounts of urine leaks during activities that increase abdominal pressure - such as coughing, jumping, or lifting something heavy.

Urge incontinence - the involuntary loss of urine is caused by a sudden urge to urinate which cannot be controlled.

Urinary retention - people have ongoing urine leakage because the bladder is unable to completely empty when using the toilet.

Functional incontinence - also known as disability-associated incontinence. It occurs when a person's bladder (or bowel) is working normally but they are unable to access the toilet.

Then there’s mixed incontinence, which is actually a combination of stress and urge incontinence. Keep reading to find out how it occurs and what symptoms can be expected.

mixed incontinence symptoms causes management

Mixed incontinence symptoms

The symptoms of mixed incontinence are a combination of stress and urge incontinence symptoms. Some people may experience more stress incontinence symptoms than urge incontinence symptoms - or vice versa. Let’s break the symptoms down.

Stress incontinence symptoms

Leaking urine when you put pressure on the abdomen via activities such as:

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Laughing

  • Lifting something heavy

  • Exercising

  • Having sexual intercourse

You might not always leak when doing any of the above actions, but it is more likely especially if the bladder is full.

Urge incontinence symptoms

As mentioned, urge incontinence is characterised by leaks caused by the urgent and uncontrollable need to empty the bladder (use the toilet). Other symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination (more than 8 times a day)

  • Urinating more than twice at night

  • Leaking urine before you make it to the toilet and/or just after you’ve used the toilet

  • Wetting the bed at night (nocturnal enuresis)


mixed incontinence symptoms causes management

Mixed incontinence causes

Like with the symptoms, mixed incontinence causes are similar to those of stress and urge incontinence. The exact causes will of course vary from person to person depending on their individual circumstances.

Some common causes of both stress and urge incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Hormonal changes and menopause in women

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction

  • Constipation

  • Surgery that involves/impacts the abdomen, bladder, bowel, prostate, rectum

  • Some medications

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis

  • Nerve damage

  • General ageing

  • Being obese

  • Lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol and smoking

mixed incontinence symptoms causes management

How to manage mixed incontinence

Because mixed incontinence is made up of the two types or urinary incontinence, it may require a combination of treatments to help manage or relieve the symptoms. This is something your doctor can help tailor to your individual needs, but some suggestions to get you started and perhaps raise with them can include the below.

Incontinence products

Finding quality continence management products can make a huge difference in the life of someone with incontinence.

For women experiencing light urinary leakage, our range of Dailee Lady pads are both discreet and highly absorbent, with a range of absorbency levels up to 1000mL. Their ultra-thin designs ensures a close, comfortable fit without compromising on their ability to trap any leaks.

For men experiencing light urinary leakage, our range of Dailee Men Guards are ideal. They have a fast-acting absorption core up to 650mL, double leak barriers and active odour control for the ultimate in hygiene, comfort and protection.

If you need a higher level of protection, you can view our range of pull-up pants and all-in-one slips.

Pelvic floor exercises

You’d be amazed at how much the strength - and weakness! - of your pelvic floor can impact your continence. We recommend paying a visit to a pelvic physiotherapist to have them create a program suited to your incontinence level.

However, we do also have these pelvic floor exercises for beginners that are safe to try at home in the meantime - or alongside your physio’s recommendations.=


For any urge incontinence symptoms you experience as part of mixed incontinence, your doctor may suggest a bladder relaxant medication that can help reduce spasms that encourage urine leaks. They may also decide to make changes to the medications you’re currently on, such as high blood pressure medications, which may be increasing urine output and potentially contributing to incontinence episodes.

Lifestyle changes

As mentioned, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol can all contribute to or exacerbate incontinence symptoms. Quitting smoking, cutting down your alcohol intake and eating a balanced wholefood diet are all ways to help manage incontinence. You can also read more about the food and drinks to avoid to control incontinence, as some foods and drinks are more irritating to the bladder than others.

mixed incontinence symptoms causes management

Can you prevent mixed incontinence?

Incontinence can be prevented in many cases, even simply by making the lifestyle changes mentioned above and aiming to exercise regularly and drink enough water daily. They might sound like minor things but they can have a major impact on your continence.

Praciticing good toilet habits is also a good way to protect your bladder and bowel from any damage. These include:

  • Going to the toilet when you feel the urge. Avoid going when you don’t feel the need, and also don’t hold in urine as over time this may lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI).

  • Sit in the correct position, which is elbows on keens and leaning forward - you can also support your feet with a footstool. This helps relax the pelvic floor and spincter muscles. Don’t hold your breath or strain/push.

  • Avoid constipation as this also affects bladder function. Straining to pass stool can weaken the pelvic floor and impact bladder control.

Of course there are some things out of one’s control when it comes to incontinence, but thankfully as we’ve noted there are plenty of ways to manage and treat the condition.

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