woman with incontinence

10 Bladder Leak Terms You’ll Definitely Want To Know

Trying to manage bladder leaks in everyday life can be frustrating. But learning more about them is a whole different can of worms. Doctors and web articles use lots of medical terms that fly over most of our heads. What exactly is incontinence? What do they mean by bladder training? Is voiding as scary as it sounds?

All those questions and more are answered here as we share 10 words or phrases that you’ll definitely want to know if you’ve got bladder leaks.

Pelvic Floor

It’s like a hammock

The pelvic floor are muscles at the bottom of the pelvic area. They act like a sling to support your internal organs, including your bladder, intestines, and uterus.


Some of us just say “leaks”

Incontinence is the technical term for leaks from both the bladder and the bowel. There is stress incontinence which is caused by laughing or sneezing or any other action that puts pressure on the pelvic floor. Then there is urge incontinence which is bladder leaks that happen after a sudden need to go.

Pelvic Floor Prolapse

Hanging too low

A pelvic floor prolapse happens when muscles in the pelvic floor become weak, allowing for organs to literally drop. The pelvic floor may press against or out of the vagina. Needless to say, this is something no one wants to deal with and needs medical attention.

Bladder Training

Train thy bladder

Bladder training is a behavioral therapy that helps treat leaks by increasing the amount of fluid your bladder can handle and the time between restroom breaks. Bladder training can eventually help stop leaks and that sudden need to go.

Double Voiding

To urinate or to urinate…twice

Double voiding is a technique to make sure everything’s out of the bladder. This is done by going to the bathroom more than once, one right after the other. It works best if you stand up or take a little break in between.


A little support goes a long way

A pessary is a small, soft device that a doctor inserts into the vagina to provide extra support for your bladder and other organs. If you’ve got pelvic prolapse, this can be a non-surgical way to keep everything where it’s supposed to be. Sometimes, a pessary can help with leaks, too.

Bladder Diary

Write it down

A bladder diary helps you keep track of your bladder’s activities. You write down or type in how much you drink, how often you’re running to the bathroom, when leaks happen, and everything you eat, too. This is to help you and your doctor get a better idea of how to fix your unique situation by understanding what’s causing it.

Post Void Dribbling

Caught in between

After completely emptying the bladder, you might still experience a few leaks. That’s because there’s still some urine caught in the tract between your bladder and the outside world. This problem is called post-void dribbling. And double voiding can help.


Leaks in the dark

Enuresis is a fancy term for bedwetting. This is when someone loses control of their bladder while they’re sleeping.


Like an alarm clock for the bladder

Nocturia is similar to enuresis except the urge wakes you up instead of just going without your say-so. How polite to wake you up in the middle of the night like that. Nocturia is usually caused by overactive bladder, sleep disorders, or drinking too much fluid during the day.

That’s All, Folks

There you have it. Those are 10 essential words and phrases to start learning more about leaks. Come across a new term related to bladder leaks? Share it with us in the comments and we’ll explain it.

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By Jessica Thomas, MPH