Urinary Stress Incontinence: Why It Happens and What Can Be Done About It

urinary stress incontinence

Urinary stress incontinence is the uncontrollable and unintentional release or leakage of urine. The inability to regulate the urge to urinate in certain circumstances is a troubling problem. In some cases, it can result in social isolation and embarrassment.

Urinary stress incontinence affects millions of people globally. Instead of living with this condition in mystery and stigma, sufferers in the Cincinnati area can get help from integrative medicine.

What Causes Urinary Stress Incontinence?

The urge to urinate stems from bladder pressure, resulting in urine loss. The word “stress” in this context refers to physical pressure from laughing, coughing, sneezing, jumping, strenuous exercise, or even intercourse.

To hold your urine until you can go to the bathroom, you instinctively contract the sphincter and activate the pelvic floor muscles to keep it inside the bladder. Urinary stress incontinence occurs when the sphincter and the pelvic muscles weaken and do not work as they should. As a result, a person has difficulty containing the urine that accumulates in the bladder.

Women who have birthed children are more likely to suffer this condition because pregnancy and birth stretch the sphincter and pelvic muscles, increasingly weakening them.  Men who suffer from prostate enlargement or inflammation or have surgery to remove the prostate can also have problems holding their urine under bladder stress conditions. Regardless of biological sex, urinary stress incontinence tends to increase with age.

Urinary Stress Incontinence Symptoms

The stress incontinence symptoms may not always be present. A person may not show indications consistently from the same daily activity. Also, when symptoms emerge, they do not always manifest in the same way in every individual. However, symptoms to watch for include accidentally leaking urine during movement or specific activities.

In mild cases, there may be an occasional dribble or drop. When the stress incontinence is more severe, the leak may be a stream of urine.

Treating Urinary Stress Incontinence

There are several treatment options to help manage this condition. Behavioral therapy may be effective in changing what may be an underlying cause. If the patient is overweight or obese, then weight loss is a feasible remedy. Another step in the behavior modification process is avoiding the activities that cause urine leakage.

Smoking can be a cause, so quitting may be helpful. Smoking cessation may also reduce or eliminate chronic coughing, which increases bladder pressure and triggers urine leakage.

Limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol can help since these substances have a bladder stimulus effect. You should also moderate the amount of water and other liquids you consume during the day.

Women with stress incontinence might consider doing Kegel exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. Kegels are easy to learn, and you can practice virtually anywhere.

There is also a school of thought that learning how to relax the pelvis may be a better answer than Kegel exercises to strengthen. While unusual, this can be very helpful where the typical exercises fail.

Finding Holistic Treatment Near You

Having urinary stress incontinence may make you feel helpless or desperate, but there is hope. In addition to getting treatment, you can wear products that absorb urine leakage, allowing you to be among people without fear of embarrassment or unpleasant odor.

Contact the Blatman Health and Wellness Center of Cincinnati today to learn what they can do to treat urinary stress incontinence. You can complete the online contact form or call 513.956.3200 to schedule an appointment.

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