Stress incontinence is caused by involuntary physical stress or pressure placed on the bladder, leading to urine leakage. For people with stress incontinence, everyday activities such as coughing, sneezing, jogging, or laughing can overwhelm the pelvic floor muscles. Stress incontinence refers to the physical stress put on the bladder, but the embarrassment that accompanies urinary incontinence frequently adds emotional stress as well.
Stress Incontinence Symptoms
Symptoms of stress incontinence are urine leakage during everyday activities.
If you experience urine leakage during the following activities, you may be suffering from stress incontinence:
- Coughing, sneezing, or laughing
- Lifting heavy items
- Exercising – especially jogging or jumping
- Engaging in sexual intercourse
Stress Incontinence Causes
Stress incontinence is typically a side effect of injury, surgery, or childbirth, all of which can weaken the pelvic floor muscles or urethral sphincter muscles. As it is commonly caused by childbirth, stress incontinence is the most common form of urinary incontinence in women.
Common causes of stress incontinence include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Pelvic surgery, including prostate surgery
- Weakened muscles surrounding the bladder due to another medical condition
If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress incontinence, it’s important to visit a doctor, as it may be due to a serious medical condition.
Stress Incontinence Diagnosis
To diagnose you with stress incontinence, your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms and medical history, including surgeries and current medications. You may be asked to keep a voiding diary to help your doctor determine if you are suffering from stress incontinence or another form of urinary incontinence. Other tests, such as a urinalysis or cystoscopy may also be ordered by the doctor, depending on your symptoms.
Stress Incontinence Treatment
Depending on the cause and severity of your stress incontinence, your doctor may prescribe a variety of treatment options.
Treatments for stress incontinence include
- Biofeedback physical therapy
- Exercises, such as kegel exercises
Stress Incontinence Treatment in Middle Tennessee
If you or a loved one is suffering from leaks during physical activity, it is time to see a physician. Tests can determine the type and severity of your incontinence, and a treatment plan will be created for you.
If you live in middle Tennessee, the doctors at the Incontinence Institute can help. Contact us today to learn how we can help treat your stress incontinence.