Topic Overview

Total incontinence is the continuous and total loss of urinary

One cause is neurogenic bladder. This is a neurological problem that prevents the bladder from emptying as it should. Spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other
disorders that affect nerve function can also lead to total
incontinence. In women it can be caused by a vesicovaginal
fistula. This is an abnormal connection between the urinary
tract and the vagina.


Total incontinence is usually treated by using a thin tube, called a catheter. You use it to empty the bladder regularly. This is called intermittent

Absorbent products such as pads or disposable underwear are usually
used when other methods of treating incontinence have failed or can’t be used.
These methods don’t treat the incontinence. But they may make it possible to manage
the problem.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD – Urology

Current as ofMay 5, 2017