Definition of Urinary Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine that occurs during physical activity, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.
Causes, incidence and risk factors
The ability to hold urine and maintain continence depends on the normal function of the lower urinary tract, the kidneys, and the nervous system. Additionally, the person must have the ability to recognize and appropriately respond to the urge to urinate.
Stress incontinence is a bladder storage problem in which the strength of the muscles (urethral sphincter) that help control urination is reduced.
The sphincter is not able to prevent urine flow when there is increased pressure from the abdomen.
Stress incontinence may occur as a result of weakened pelvic muscles that support the bladder and urethra or because of malfunction of the urethral sphincter. The weakness may be caused by prior injury to the urethral area, neurological injury, some medications, or after surgery of the prostate or pelvic area.
Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women.
Studies have shown about 50% of all women have occasional urinary incontinence, and as many as 10% have frequent incontinence. Nearly 20% of women over age 75 experience daily urinary incontinence.
Stress incontinence is often seen in women who have had multiple pregnancies and vaginal childbirths, whose bladder, urethra, or rectal wall stick out into the vaginal space (pelvic prolapse).Risk factors for stress incontinence include:
- Being female
- Getting older
- Chronic coughing (such as chronic bronchitis and asthma)
Symptoms Involuntary loss of urine is the main symptom. It may occur when:
- During other physical activity