What Is Stress Incontinence and Why Does Leakage Occur?
When the bladder leaks urine during exercise or any other type of physical exertion like lifting or coughing, this is called urinary stress incontinence. Urine is collected in the bladder then passes through the urethra to the outside, usually under your control. When this happens involuntarily, it is because the pelvic floor muscles which control urine flow are weakened and unable to hold back pressure. There are two other types on incontinence: Urge – sudden need to urinate and Overflow – when bladder can not empty.
Childbirth, previous pelvic surgery and aging cause these muscles to weaken and no longer work properly. If you suffer from incontinence, you will notice urine leakage whenever you lift something heavy or cough or put pressure on your bladder. Multiple pregnancies are generally the main causes of prolapse and incontinence.
A pelvic exam will reveal the type of incontinence and determine the treatment type.
How is Incontinence Treated?
Depending on the severity of your incontinence and lifestyle the treatments may include:
- Medication (Estrogen / Muscle relaxation / Contraction Blockers)
- Exercise (Kegel)
- Surgery (Anterior vaginal repair / Sling / Collagen Injections)
- ThermiVa (non-surgical radio frequency)
Recommended lifestyle changes to improve incontinence:
- Avoid Alcohol
- Take Fiber to Avoid Constipation
- Drink Less Fluids
- Quit Smoking
- Avoid Spicy Foods
- Limit Carbonated Drinks
- Lose Weight