Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a common, treatable condition in which sudden movements put stress on the bladder, causing urine to leak out involuntarily. Stress urinary incontinence is one of the most common types of urinary incontinence among women.

Because bladder leakage can be embarrassing, many women don’t talk about SUI or realize how common it is.

You may have stress urinary incontinence if you’ve experienced involuntary urine leakage while:

  • Laughing
  • Sneezing
  • Jumping
  • Standing up or lying down
  • Lifting something heavy
  • Exercising

Causes of Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence occurs when pelvic muscles supporting the bladder and urethra have been damaged or weakened, so that they may not hold the urethra in its correct position. Sudden movements from the diaphragm put stress on the bladder, causing the urethra to lose its seal and allowing urine to leak out.

Factors that can lead to stress urinary incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Frequent heavy lifting
  • Estrogen deficiency or menopause
  • Obesity

Incontinence can also be a symptom of other pelvic health issues, like pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition in which organs in the pelvic region shift out of their normal position.

A common, treatable problem

Many women assume stress urinary incontinence is just a natural part of aging or an inevitable consequence of having children. Misconceptions like these prevent many women from learning that stress urinary incontinence is a common and treatable medical condition.

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Gaston Women's Health Care 704.865.BABY


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