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Stress Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Stress Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

by Michelle Foster

If you're struggling with stress incontinence, you're not alone. Anywhere from 3% to 17% of both men and women suffer from either urge or mixed incontinence.

While you might find some comfort in the fact that you're not the only person with this issue, it still doesn't take away the inconvenience and embarrassment that comes along with it. So if you're looking for some answers and solutions, then you're in the right place.

In this article, we'll discuss the important points of stress incontinence, including the symptoms and treatments available to you.

What Is Stress Incontinence?

Stress incontinence is also known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

As the name implies, stress incontinence is when you have urine leakage whenever you put pressure on your bladder. For example, you might leak urine whenever you laugh, cough, or sneeze. It's common to have urinary incontinence whenever you do physical activities too.

Other types of incontinence include:

  • Urgency

  • Reflex

  • Overflow

  • Functional

  • Temporary

Urgency incontinence is also known as having an "overactive bladder." This is because you get an overwhelming urge to go to the bathroom. It's often accompanied by leakage before reaching a toilet.

Reflex incontinence can happen without any warning. This usually occurs because of nerve damage, which affects how your brain communicates with your bladder.

Overflow incontinence is when you don't empty your bladder fully. This can result in urine leakage since your bladder can become too full and unable to accommodate the urine your body produces.

Functional incontinence happens when you aren't able to get to a toilet and empty your bladder in time because of a disability. For example, conditions such as arthritis or even Alzheimer's can prevent a person from properly planning and executing a plan to use the toilet.

Lastly, temporary incontinence occurs as a result of things like medication or illness. This means the incontinence goes away eventually by switching or getting off medications or recovering from sickness.

What Causes Stress Incontinence?

Stress incontinence usually occurs after your body's been through some trauma; one of the most common causes is childbirth. This is because the process stretches out and weakens both the sphincter and pelvic muscles. As a result, this makes it more difficult to hold in urine, especially when sudden actions.

Old age and certain health conditions can also cause SUI. This is because as you get older, or as a disease progresses, it can negatively impact your muscle mass.

Although it's not common, some women may also get stress incontinence as part of PMS. The decrease in estrogen production can weaken a woman's urethra.

For men, they may develop stress incontinence after prostate surgery. The prostate supports the urethra, so once it's removed, a man might have trouble with bladder strength.

There are a number of other health issues that may cause stress incontinence, including issues with your hormones, obesity, smoking, excess drinking, and constipation.

What Are the Symptoms of Stress Incontinence?

The main symptom of stress incontinence is urine leakage with any bladder stress. This can be anything from a few drops to a continuous flow.

Activities that may cause SUI include:

  • Laughing

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Exercising

  • Heavy lifting

  • Sexual activity

  • Standing up

Nicotine can also irritate your bladder, which means it can be a good idea to quit smoking if you currently do so.

Keep in mind that different activities affect people differently. While laughing may be fine for you, it may not be for someone else who suffers from this condition.

What Are the Treatments for SUI?

While it can be cured, stress incontinence usually doesn't fully go away. Thankfully, there are ways you can significantly reduce the number of instances.

One effective treatment is pelvic muscle training. You can perform Kegel exercises to keep those muscles nice and strong.

Another thing you can try is changing your lifestyle. For example, you can quit smoking, lose weight, and avoid exercises that cause you to leak urine. In addition, you can reduce drinking alcohol and caffeine, and cut down your fluid intake so you're more comfortable.

You can also ask your doctor if medication is right for you. There's no actual FDA-approved medication for incontinence, but there are some prescription drugs that might help, such as estrogen supplements, antidepressants, and pseudoephedrine.

For very bad cases, you might need surgery. Surgery can help repair your vagina, bladder, and urethra, which can then drastically reduce your incontinence. A less invasive choice might be collagen injections.

What Can You Do About Odor Control?

While you can certainly improve things by being proactive and seeking treatment, it's almost inevitable that you'll still have some leakage here and there.

Understandably, it can be embarrassing to deal with, and you don't want to draw attention to yourself if you've had an accident. However, this can be hard to do if you're out for the day and you can't return home for a while.

It always helps to have an extra change of clothes, or at least keep a spare pair of underwear in your bag. But if you've forgotten to bring those along with your, or just don't have space, then deodorant wipes are the next best thing.

When you have some incontinence, all you have to do is go to the bathroom, wipe yourself with the deodorant wipe, and flush it away. The ingredients are carefully chosen so you can eliminate odor without irritation. That way, you can continue on with your day with no worries at all!

Don't Let Stress Incontinence Take Over Your Life

When you have stress incontinence, the worry of accidents can quickly take over your life. But that's no way to live, with this constant gray cloud over your head.

So have a chat with your doctor to see which treatments are right for you!

Are you ready to take back control? Then put our tips to good use and buy some Lume Wipes, which will help you knock out odor!

Michelle Foster

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