Stress incontinence is when the bladder leaks urine when performing physical activities. The bladder can leak from something as little as a cough to lifting something, to performing strenuous exercises. Stress incontinence occurs from the bladder muscles not working properly. When either your bladder muscles or your internal anal sphincter muscle becomes weak, urine can easily leak whenever pressure is put on your bladder.
Conditions & Activities That Cause Stress Incontinence
- During sexual intercourse
- Performing Strenuous Exercises
- Lifting heavy objects
These are all symptoms of stress incontinence if you leak urine during the conditions listed above. Other reasons you may have weakened bladder muscles can be due to giving birth, certain medications, and surgery around the pelvic area or injury to the pelvic area.
Increased Risk of Stress Incontinence in Women
- If you have given birth more than once and had a vaginal delivery
- If you have pelvic prolapse (damaged tissue and nerve in the pelvic area causing the bladder, rectum or urethra to slide into the vagina).
Exams & Tests For Stress Incontinence
- Genital or rectal exam
- Cystoscopy – procedure where instrument is used to look inside the bladder
- Pad test – when a pad is used during physical exercise, and then the amount of urine that leaked is measured.
- Urinalysis – when your urine is checked for a urinary tract infection
- Urinary Stress Test – tests your ability to hold your urine while standing and coughing
Treatment of Stress Incontinence
- Kegal Exercises
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
- Quitting smoking, caffeine, and alcohol
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