Below is a glossary of common terms relating to Cochrane Incontinence. For a general glossary of terms relating to Cochrane, click here.

This glossary is at present under development and suggestions for improvement should be sent to the Group e-mail address:

Detrusor hyperreflexia  - Involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions which are due to neurologic conditions.

Detrusor instability - Involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions which are due to reasons other than neurologic disorders. The diagnosis must be made using urodynamics.

Detrusor overactivity - A generic term for involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions. This term is used when a cause is unclear.

Encopresis - Repeated passage of faeces into inappropiate places (eg clothing or floor) whether involuntary or intentional.

Enuresis - A 'normal' void taking place at an inappropriate or socially unacceptable time or place.

Extraurethral incontinence - Denotes leakage of urine from a source other than the urethra. It may be due to urinary fistula or ectopic ureter.

Faecal incontinence - The involuntary or inappropriate passage of faeces.

Intrinsic sphincter deficiency - An intrinsic malfunction of the urethral sphincter itself.

Low bladder compliance - Denotes an abnormal (decreased) volume/pressure relationship during bladder filling.

Nocturnal enuresis/nocturia - Urinary void which occurs during sleep.

Overflow incontinence - Leakage of urine at greater than normal bladder capacity. It is associated with incomplete bladder emptying due to either impaired detrusor contractility or bladder outlet obstruction.

Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) - Any method of training the pelvic floor muscles to contract.

Post‐void dribble - Dribbling loss of urine, which occurs after voiding.

Rectal prolapse (procidencia) - The protrusion through the anus of all layers of the rectal wall.

Sphincter abnormalities causing urinary incontinence - There are two generic types of sphincter abnormalities: urethral hypermobility and intrinsic sphincter deficiency. The two conditions may coexist. At the present time, there are no well‐defined objective methods to distinguish between the two.

Stress incontinence - Involuntary loss of urine during coughing, sneezing, or physical exertion such as sport activities, sudden changes of position, etc.

Terminal dribble - A dribble of urine that may occur during the last stages of voiding.

Unconscious (unaware) incontinence - The involuntary loss of urine which is unaccompanied by either urge or stress. The person affected may be aware of the incontinent episode by feeling wetness.

Urethral hypermobility - Abnormal descent of the bladder neck and proximal urethra during increases in abdominal pressure.

Urge incontinence - Involuntary loss of urine associated with a sudden strong desire to void (urgency).

Urodynamic studies - Scientific assessment of the function and dysfunction of the lower urinary tract.