The function of the bladder is to store urine and release when required. Any disturbance in this function results in incontinence. Incontinence associated with chronic retention is when the bladder is not completely empty and there is a continuous discharge of urine. In overflow incontinence, the bladder is full most of the time and there is a regular discharge of the urine.
Overflow incontinence is most often caused by chronic urinary retention, which is an inability to empty the bladder. With chronic urinary retention, you may be able to urinate, but you have trouble starting a stream of urine or emptying your bladder completely. You may urinate often; you may feel an urgent need to urinate but have little success when you get to the toilet; or you may feel you still have to go after you have finished urinating.
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