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What is stress-related incontinence– and how can you treat it?

Posted by Dr. Kris Wusterhausen on January 31, 2019

Do you urinate a little when you laugh? Do you dread coughing because of potential leakage? Do you find yourself wearing liners throughout the day?

Unintentional bladder leakage isn’t an inevitable part of aging. It’s actually a symptom of a health condition — a problem that can be treated.

If bladder leakage is something you regularly experience, you may have stress-related incontinence, and several options available are available to you.



The Signs & Symptoms Of Stress-Related Incontinence

Stress-related incontinence occurs when pressure, or stress, on the bladder causes urinary leakage. There are two main types of SRI: urethral hypermobility and intrinsic sphincteric deficiency.

With urethral hypermobility, abdominal pressure causes the urethra to switch positions, leading to unwanted leakage. ISD, on the other hand, involves the sphincter muscle. This muscle controls the flow of urine out of the bladder. If you suffer from ISD, your body isn’t able to effectively seal your sphincter muscle.

Whether you have urethral hypermobility or ISD, the most common symptom is accidental leaking when you:

  • woman-incontinenceLaugh

  • Sneeze

  • Cough

  • Exercise

  • Stand up after sitting for periods of time

  • Lift heavy objects

  • Have sex

This can be incredibly embarrassing and have a negative impact on your self-confidence. The good news is: if you find yourself experiencing this problem, you aren’t alone. Approximately 50 percent of women over age 50 and 75 percent of women over age 75 have some form of urinary incontinence.

The Causes Of Stress-Related Incontinence

Despite misconception, stress-related incontinence is not necessarily caused by emotional stress. In fact, the most common causes of incontinence for women are childbirth and pregnancy.

When you undergo childbirth, your pelvic floor muscles are stretched and weakened. This limits your urethra and sphincter muscle’s ability to function properly.

Other risk factors for SRI can include:

  • Chronic coughing

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • Menopause

  • A history of high impact exercise

  • Pelvic surgery

  • Hysterectomy

Women who have undergone vaginal childbirth are at a higher risk for SRI than women who have had children via a cesarean section. Although men can also suffer from the condition, it is much more common in women.

How Can You Prevent & Treat Stress-Related Incontinence?

Stress-related incontinence isn’t something you have to live with. There are proven, affordable ways you can prevent and even treat SRI – regardless of your age or lifestyle.

For prevention, the best methods are seen through behavioral modification. These are the best steps you can take to prevent or lessen the symptoms of SRI:

  1. Practice kegel/pelvic muscle exercises.

  2. Lose weight and avoid yo-yo dieting.

  3. Quit smoking.

  4. Avoid high-impact exercises and practice low-impact cardio instead.

  5. Keep coughing under control with medication, tea, and lozenges.

If you already have SRI, you can manage the condition with absorbent pads or urethral inserts. However, there are several treatment options for SRI available.

Some women see temporary results with topical estrogen creams. Injections are also an option. Some more invasive solutions include surgery in the form of urethral slings, bladder neck slings, and suspension procedures.

Over recent years, many women have seen success with radiofrequency energy treatments such as ThermiVa. These treatments are minimally invasive and improve your body’s natural production of collagen, a protein which makes skin elastic and strong.

  • ThermiVa involves three treatments, one month apart.

  • Each treatment is non-invasive, non-ablative, and non-surgical.

  • There is no downtime.

  • ThermiVa lasts up to 1 year, compared to topical treatments that last hours.

At The Resurge Clinic, we understand how sensitive the topic of leaking can be. It’s embarrassing, and it makes you feel like your body isn’t working like it’s supposed to. We believe SRI shouldn’t keep you from feeling confident and living your best life.

If you’re tired of revolving your wardrobe, your exercise, and your life around bladder leakage, schedule a consultation with The Resurge Clinic today. We’ll help you determine the best treatment options so you can effectively treat SRI.


Topics: Sexual Health, Women’s Health, ThermiVa