Stress incontinence is a condition that causes urine to leak when pressure is exerted on the bladder. The person may release urine in small amounts while sneezing, coughing, or laughing. Physical exertion in the form of running, jumping, or lifting heavy weight may also result in leakage of urine.
Stress incontinence is the commonest form of urinary incontinence and commonly affects females. In fact, one in every three females struggle with urinary incontinence at some point. The condition does not commonly affect men but it can happen.
Most of the people who have stress incontinence also suffer from another condition called urge incontinence. When someone has both urge incontinence and stress incontinence, it is called mixed incontinence. Due to this type of urinary incontinence, you can release urine even when you feel like peeing.
Another type of urinary incontinence is overflow incontinence, due to which you release urine when your bladder is too full or you are unable to completely evacuate it.
Stress incontinence occurs due to sudden pressure on the urethra and the urinary bladder, which result in brief opening of the sphincter muscle inside the urethra so that the urine comes out. Any activity such as coughing, jumping, or sneezing results in squeezing the bladder.
Although urinary incontinence can affect anyone, the problem is more common in those assigned female at birth (AFAB). About half of women above the age of 65 suffer from stress urinary Incontinence, even though the condition is not a normal part of ageing. It indicates a problem that can improve with appropriate treatment. Following are some of the risk factors of stress Incontinence:
One of the top signs of stress incontinence is the leakage of urine when there is pressure on the bladder. Due to mild stress incontinence, you can leak drops of urine while performing activities like laughing, heavy exercise, sneezing, or coughing.
Moderate to severe stress incontinence can make you release more than a tablespoon of urine even when you are performing less strenuous activity such as bending over or standing up.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and perform a complete physical examination. It's better to maintain a bladder diary to monitor your bathroom use, fluid intake, and urine leakage if you suffer from the condition. You can also note down what you were doing before the leakage happened. This will help your doctor understand your condition better and formulate a suitable treatment plan for you.
Following are the tests for stress Incontinence:
Yes, stress incontinence can be kept under control by performing pelvic exercises as these exercises strengthen the muscles supporting the urinary system. However, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can be challenging in the beginning. A physiotherapist can help you master the proper techniques. The improvement of symptoms can take four to six weeks.
Apart from pelvic floor exercises, the following steps can help improve the symptoms of stress Incontinence:
Following are some of the treatment options available for women with stress Incontinence:
Men commonly develop stress incontinence post surgery for prostate cancer. Following are the treatment options for stress Incontinence:
Severe stress incontinence can make you feel depressed or anxious and it can be quite embarrassing. Although absorbent urinary pads and adult diapers catch urine leaks, you might feel self-conscious thinking about the odour or worrying about people noticing them. You may not want to be far from a restroom or go out in public. Continuous contact of the skin with urine can irritate it, leading to skin sores and rashes.
Following are some of the steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing urinary Incontinence:
The symptoms of stress incontinence can be greatly improved by performing pelvic floor exercises at home and working with a pelvic floor physical therapist. Other treatments can help significantly decrease or stop the leakage of urine if needed.
Following are some of the questions you may want to ask from your healthcare provider:
Depending on how severe your stress incontinence is, leaking urine may be embarrassing or inconvenient. You may feel uncomfortable whenever you are far from the restroom or you may choose to skip exercising for the fear of leaking urine. The symptoms of stress incontinence can be improved by performing pelvic floor exercises regularly. If the stress incontinence is moderate to severe, injections, devices, or surgical procedures can be helpful.
If you are suffering from stress incontinence and are located in Indore, you can visit the Stress Incontinence Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore and fix your appointment with an expert doctor who can guide you to the next step.