What is urinary stress incontinence?
It occurs when pelvic muscles supporting the bladder and urethra have been damaged or weakened, often as a result of childbirth. Weakened pelvic muscles cannot hold the urethra in its correct position, causing the urethra to lose its seal and allowing urine to escape with any movement from the abdomen that puts stress on the bladder, such as a sneezing, exercise, lifting, or coughing.
‘It’s a normal part of the aging process and having children”.
“Women should live with this”.
Most women suffer three to ten years before talking to a doctor, which explains why more feminine pads are used for incontinence than menstruation.
It is not necessarily associated with aging…it happens to women of all ages.
Stress urinary incontinence is a very real medical condition that’s very common because it’s often a consequence of having children, but it’s not “normal”.
15% of all women leak urine while participating in sports.
Stress incontinence can occur during intimate moments.
Most women try and cover it up by wearing sanitary napkins and dark clothing and even possibly limiting their activities and fluids. They are embarrassed.
Many effective treatments are available:
• Physical Therapy
• Diet and Health Changes
• Biofeedback (a type of physical therapy)
• Surgeries, including minimally invasive ones
There are different types of incontinence and different causes for the condition. To determine the right treatment for you, the urologist will seek to better understand your bladder and urethral function. To do this, the urologist may perform a series of tests to help him determine the treatment that is right for you. Every patient is different, and treatment must be directed to your situation. At SIU, we take a special approach. Our patients work with urologists, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, advance practice nurses, and gynecologists.
SIU Incontinence Center
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Division of Urology
St. John’s Pavilion
Springfield, IL 62794