Stress Incontinence – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments!

Stress Incontinence – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that we should not ignore. Also,  stress incontinence is the inability to control your urge to urinate under certain circumstances. It is a serious and embarrassing disorder and can lead to social isolation. Any pressure exerted on the abdomen and bladder can lead to urine leakage .It is important to remember that the term “stress” is used in a strictly physical sense when describing stress incontinence . It refers to excessive pressure on the bladder and not emotional stress.

An overactive bladder is a separate condition. In some cases, excessive bladder scarring and stress can occur, which is called mixed incontinence. Your doctor may run tests to determine which one is causing your incontinence.

Bladder Anatomy:  Your bladder is supported by a system of muscles:

  • The sphincter surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body;
  • The detrusor is the muscle in the bladder wall, which allows it to expand;
  • Pelvic floor muscles help support the bladder and urethra;
  • To keep urine inside your bladder without leaking, you need to contract your sphincter. When your sphincter and pelvic muscles are weak, it’s harder
  • contract these muscles and the result is stress incontinence ;

Stress Incontinence Symptoms:  The main symptom of stress incontinence is loss of bladder control during physical activity. You may experience a few drops of urine or a large, involuntary flow. This can happen while you are:

  • Laughing;
  • sneezing;
  • cough ;
  • jumping;
  • Exercise;
  • Doing Heavy Lifting;
  • Involving sexual intercourse;

Sometimes even standing from a sitting or reclining position can put additional pressure on your bladder and cause a leak. Stress incontinence is unique to each individual. You may not show symptoms whenever you participate in an activity, and the same activities that cause leakage for you cannot affect someone else with stress incontinence .

Who Suffers from Stress Incontinence:  According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), women are twice as likely as men to suffer from involuntary leakage.

The most common causes of stress incontinence among women are pregnancy and childbirth, especially with multiple vaginal deliveries. During pregnancy and childbirth, the sphincter and pelvic muscles are stretched and weakened.

Older age and conditions that cause chronic coughing can also cause stress incontinence . This condition can also be a side effect of pelvic surgery.

Some women only experience stress incontinence during the week before they get their period. The NIDDK explains that estrogen drops during this phase of the menstrual cycle, which can weaken the urethra. This is not common.

Among men, prostate surgery is a common cause of stress incontinence . The prostate surrounds the male urethra, and its removal can result in the urethra losing support. Other risk factors for stress incontinence include:

  • Smoking due to chronic cough ;
  • Any other condition associated with chronic cough ;
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol;
  • obesity;
  • Constipation;
  • Long-term participation in high-impact activities;
  • Hormonal deficiencies;

Treatment for Stress Incontinence:  Treatment for stress incontinence varies depending on the underlying cause of your problem. Your doctor will help you come up with a treatment plan using a combination of medications and lifestyle adjustments.

Behavior Therapy:  You can change your lifestyle and the way you live to reduce episodes of stress incontinence . If you are obese, your doctor may advise you to lose weight. You can also try to avoid activities that cause leakage, such as jumping or running.

Nicotine can irritate your bladder and can contribute to incontinence. If you are a smoker, you must quit. The constant coughing seen in smokers also contributes to the problem.

Also, consider avoiding caffeine and alcohol, as these substances are bladder irritants. You may want to reduce your overall fluid intake to reduce bladder pressure.

For many women, pelvic muscle training can help treat stress incontinence . Kegel exercises make your sphincter and pelvic muscles stronger.

To perform a Kegel, contract the muscles you use to stop a stream of urine . It can be helpful to practice doing Kegels while sitting on the toilet to help you learn which muscles to use. Once you master the exercise, you can perform them anywhere and anytime.

Electrical stimulation is another treatment, and it sends a gentle electrical current through your pelvic floor muscles. The current causes your muscles to contract, mimicking a Kegel exercise. You can contract the muscles yourself after feeling exactly which muscles are contracting.

Medication:  There are currently no FDA-approved medications to treat stress incontinence. Both oral and topical estrogen supplements can help in women. Pseudoephedrine is sometimes used successfully. The FDA is evaluating Cymbalta, an antidepressant, that appears to show promise in treating stress incontinence.

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