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Transient Incontinence


Out of all the different types of incontinence transient incontinence  is probably the most complex to diagnose and treat, as the causes can result in different types of incontinence for different lengths of time.  This relates to bladder and/or bowel incontinence.

An easy mnemonic for the causes of transient incontinence is D I A P P E R S :



UTIs, bladder  infection causes (especially in the older patients) patients to become confused, delirious and at worst aggressive with ramblings of spoken nonsense. Their awareness to go to the toilet is impaired.


Bladder, urinary tract infections, kidney infections attribute to weakening and relaxing of muscles resulting in incontinence. This may cause bladder spams.



Urethritis and vaginitis. Vaginal dryness in older women due to the depletion of oestrogen and loss of nourishment to the urethra and vagina.



(eg, those with α-adrenergic, cholinergic, or anticholinergic properties; diuretics; sedatives) some drugs may make the bladder neck in women, and the prostate in men lax, resulting in stress incontinence.


Psychiatric disorders: 

Depression is a contributor. Some of the medication used to treat psychiatric disorders can trigger stress, urge, mixed incontinence. However, some doctors do prescribe antidepressants as a treatment for stress incontinence.


Excess urine output:

(polyuria) and overflow incontinence.


Restricted mobility:

Disabled and  patients sitting or lying in one position for prolonged periods of time, will fail to reach the toilet on time.


Systemic disorders: 

Such as diabetes can result in frequency, urge incontinence or/and nocturia.


About transient incontinence Bladder and/or bowel incontinence is the inability to control urine of faecal matter from leaving the body. When the incontinence is temporary ie, after surgery the patient finds he or she is incontinent then the patient is able to control themselves after a while, this type of incontinence would be deemed as transient incontinence.


Regardless of the age or type of patient, it is crucial medial treatment is sought after to find the underlying cause.
Once the underlying cause has been established then a diagnosis can be made as to if the incontinence is true incontinence or transient incontinence. Remember that transient incontinence is not permanent, but if not treated sooner rather than later, it can cause further complications.

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