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What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Get the Facts about Stress Urinary Incontinence

rnUrinary Incontinence is a health condition in which you involuntarily or accidentally leak urine. Urinary Incontinence occurs when the muscles that control your urine flow are too weak or too active. The bladder and urethra are controlled by pelvic floor muscles that enable urine to flow from your bladder, through the urethra and out of your body. At the opening of the bladder the sphincter muscle squeezes to keep urine from leaking through the urethra. The majority of people can hold over two 2 cups of urine in their bladder, so when these muscles don’t function properly you may experience involuntary leakage.rnrnStress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a specific form of Urinary Incontinence. Stress Incontinence is not related to psychological stress, it refers to a physical stress on the pelvic floor muscles and organs. Stress Incontinence occurs when urine leakage is caused by exerted pressure on your bladder. When your pelvic floor muscles weaken, urine easily passes through the urethra. Therefore, when you place pressure on your bladder with activity like laughing or exercising, you may notice leakage.rn



With Stress Urinary Incontinence you will notice the leakage of urine when you are physically active. Actions like coughing, sneezing, laughing, standing, exercising, and having sexual intercourse put pressure on the bladder and can cause leakage. Because these are normal activities, and you want to live an active lifestyle, disposable liner guards and liner pads are found convenient and effectively absorbent. With the combination of weakened pelvic floor muscles and exerted pressure on the bladder, it is very likely you may experience the symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence.




Stress Urinary Incontinence may be caused by childbirth, injury to the urethra, certain medications, or surgery in the pelvic area or prostate. Stress Incontinence is most the most common type of Urinary Incontinence in women.


Urinary Incontinence is found twice as much in women than it is in men. This is because pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can seriously affect the female urinary tract. These events in a woman’s life can injure the muscular structure that supports the bladder. Pelvic floor muscles, the vagina, and other ligaments support the female bladder. Pregnancy and childbirth can put pressure on these support systems.


When urinating, the muscles in the wall of your bladder contract. This forces urine out of the bladder and through the urethra. The urinary sphincter relaxes and lets the urine pass through the body. With Urinary Incontinence occurs when your bladder muscles suddenly contract or the urinary sphincter is not strong enough to hold in the urine.


Difference in pressure on this system can affect the urinary tract. This is why pregnancy can create Urinary Incontinence, because of the immense abdominal pressure on the bladder. If you’ve given birth more than once, especially with vaginal delivery, you become more predisposed. Pelvic prolapse, when your bladder, urethra or rectum slide into the vagina, is another issue that could increase the risk of acquiring Stress Incontinence after childbirth.  While UI is common with pregnancy and obesity, it is not uncommon to see your Urinary Incontinence diminish after weight loss, and childbirth.


During menopause, levels of estrogen drop significantly. Estrogen healthily maintains the bladder and the urethra which is what carries urine out of the body. Estrogen is also lowered during the menstrual period. This is why women may experience Urinary Incontinence along with cramps.  


With these weakened facilities, the bladder can be pushed downward toward the vagina. This prevents the sphincter and other muscles from contracting and keeping your body from urinating involuntarily. As a result, you may experience leakage during moments of stress. Moment of stress on the abdomen include laughing, sneezing, and coughing. This is what makes Stress Urinary Incontinence the most common form of Urinary Incontinence in women.


But Stress Urinary Incontinence is not only found in women. As said before any injury to the urethra, certain medications, or surgery in the pelvic area or prostate can also cause this condition. Obesity is also a major cause, because it puts an abnormal amount of stress on the bladder. Basically anything that damages the pelvic floor, in both men and women, can cause Stress Urinary Incontinence.


In men specifically, stress incontinence or urge incontinence can be associated with untreated prostate cancer. But more often, incontinence is a side effect of treatments for prostate cancer. This is because of the strange amount of pressure an enlarged prostate, or a prostate with cancer, can have on the urethra and bladder.


Many people with Stress Urinary Incontinence have found pelvic floor exercises to decrease their symptoms. Some people have even had so much success with these exercises and other forms of treatment, that their symptoms disappear completely. Certain foods and drinks can cause the urge to go,  so if you avoid these, exercise, and put on an adult disposable diaper, you can easily maintain your Stress Urinary Incontinence.

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