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Stress Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Home  /  News and insights   /  Stress Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Stress Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Urinary incontinence is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It manifests in several forms, one of which is stress urinary incontinence. This article will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this condition, providing useful information for those with or affected by it.

What is Effort Urinary Incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence that occurs when abdominal pressure increases due to physical exertion or other activities such as coughing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or exercising. In these situations, involuntary loss of urine may occur due to relaxation or weakness of the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles of the urinary system.


Causes may vary from person to person, but the most common causes include:

  1. Pelvic Floor Muscle Weakness: Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and urethra. When these muscles become weak or damaged, the ability to hold urine may decrease.
  2. Pregnancy and Child birth: Childbirth, particularly vaginal delivery, can cause injury to pelvic floor muscles and nerves, increasing the risk of stress urinary incontinence in women.
  3. Aging: Stress urinary incontinence becomes more common with age due to loss of elasticity and strength in the pelvic floor muscles.
  4. Obesity: Excess weight can put additional pressure on pelvic floor muscles, increasing the risk of stress urinary incontinence.
  5. Pelvic Surgery: Surgery in the pelvic area, such as prostate removal in men or gynecological surgery in women, can affect the muscles and nerves responsible for urinary continence.


Symptoms of stress urinary incontinence can vary in severity and include:

  1. Loss of Urine: The main symptom is the involuntary loss of urine during physical activities or exertion such as lifting heavy objects, laughing, or coughing.
  2. Urinary Urgency: Some people with stress incontinence may experience a sudden, strong urge to urinate before urine loss.
  3. Increased Urinary Frequency: An increased need to urinate, even if the bladder is not full, may be an associated symptom.
  4. Feeling of Incomplete Bladder Emptying: After urinating, you may feel that you have not emptied your bladder completely.

Diagnosis of theEffort Urinary Incontinence

If you suspect that you have stress urinary incontinence, it is important to consult a physician, preferably a urology specialist. The doctor may perform a variety of diagnostic tests, including:

  1. Medical History: Your doctor will collect information about your medical history, including symptoms and possible risk factors.
  2. Physical Examination: A physical examination can help identify any anatomical or muscular problems in the pelvic area.
  3. Pelvic Floor Functionality Tests: These tests assess the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles.
  4. Urodynamic Tests: These tests measure the pressure in the bladder and the rate of urinary flow to determine the functioning of the urinary tract.
  5. Ultrasound: Ultrasound can be used to visualize the bladder and urethra during filling and emptying.

Treatment Options

Treatment of stress urinary incontinence can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and underlying causes. Some treatment options include:

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Kegel exercises aimed at strengthening pelvic floor muscles can help improve urinary continence.
  2. Behavioral Therapy: This therapy may include management of urinary habits, such as controlling the frequency of urination.
  3. Medical Devices: Devices such as tampons can help manage urine leakage.
  4. Medication: Some medications may be prescribed to improve the function of the detrusor muscle of the bladder.
  5. Surgery: In severe cases or those resistant to conservative treatment, surgical interventions such as implantation of sling to support the urethra may be considered.
  6. Minimally Invasive Therapies: Procedures such as laser or radiofrequency therapy can help strengthen pelvic floor tissues.