Stress Incontinence

Stress Incontinence

Stress Incontinence

What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence, where there is uncontrollable leakage of urine during physical exertion.

Activities that put more pressure inside the abdomen and push down on the bladder can include:

  • sneezing,
  • coughing,
  • laughing,
  • walking,
  • lifting, or
  • playing sport.

Other factors that contribute to stress incontinence are

  • obesity,
  • asthma,
  • constipation, and
  • diabetes.

What are Some Causes of Stress Incontinence?

The usual cause of stress incontinence in women are

  • pregnancy,
  • childbirth and
  • menopause.

In pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles that support the urethra are stretched and weakened. If they do not regain their tone incontinence can occur during activities that then push on the bladder.

With menopause, the female hormone oestrogen is produced less - this hormone helps maintain the thickness of the urethra lining to ensure that the urethra is sealed while passing urine.

Treatments for Stress Incontinence

Some treatments can include:

  • Behavioral therapies such as pelvic floor exercises, managing fluid consumption, leading a healthy lifestyle, and bladder training.
  • Medications such as the antidepressant duloxetine is used in Europe to treat stress incontinence, however symptoms quickly return once the drug is stopped.
  • Devices designed for women, such as the vaginal pessary and urethral inserts also help control stress incontinence.
  • Surgery like injectable bulking agents, retropubic colposuspension, sling procedure, and inflatable artificial sphincter are designed to improve closure of the sphincter or support the bladder neck.

If you are experiencing symptoms that match those above you maybe suffering from Stress Incontinence. We would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Gailani at