Stress Urinary Incontinence
This week’s topic is Stress Urinary Incontinence, which is 1 of the 5 subtypes of incontinence. Do you know what that is? Many women suffer from it but how many talk about it? What’s even better is that in many cases it is very much treatable! Listen to the episode now by CLICKING HERE to find out what SUI is, how to diagnose and how to treat it! Don’t stress, we got you covered on the other subtypes in follow up episodes.
♡ Urinary Incontinence Subtypes
Today we will just talk about the classic stress urinary incontinence.
♡ What is stress urinary incontinence?
It is characterized by urine leakage associated with activities that cause increased intra-abdominal pressure or sudden pressure on the bladder and the urethra leading to the sphincter muscles to open briefly.
In other words it most commonly occurs with coughing, exercising, laughing, or sneezing.
♡ Risk Factors
Stress incontinence is more common in women
It typically occurs due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and really just because of the normal female anatomy
More common as you age and this is because as your body changes your bladder can hold less pressure which increases the chances of involuntary urine release
Weight gain can increase the pressure on your bladder and surrounding muscles thus weakening them and allowing urine to leak out when you cough or sneeze
Smoking may also increase your risk
As you can see some of these are modifiable (i.e.: smoking) risk factors so it’s important to understand them.
Incontinence can be temporary and self resolve but it can also be mixed with the other subtypes
Ranges from mild to more severe
Mild cases typically occur from sudden forceful activities whereas, in more severe cases you may leak with less forceful activities (i.e.: standing up, walking or bending over).
On average about 1 in 3 women suffer from stress urinary incontinence
Over half of the women who have this condition tend to also have an overactive bladder
Although it is less common in men it can be seen in men who have had prostate cancer surgery or pelvic nerve injuries
We love a good kegel exercise and for years people have stressed the importance of kegel's for many reasons. But really, we should discuss kegel's for urinary incontinence as it is the primary treatment!
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training or (PFMT) or Kegel's is the first-line therapy for women with stress incontinence. PFMT may benefit patients with mixed urge and stress incontinence. The goal is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
How to do it? You tighten the pelvic muscles as if trying to hold yourself from going to the bathroom. Typically you should do three or four sets of 10 contractions daily, with contractions lasting 10 seconds. You should do this for a minimum of 4 to 5 months.
Now let's discuss medications. We typically recommend against them for stress urinary incontinence. There are some devices and surgery as an option but doing kegel exercises and maintaining a bladder diary which is basically a log of what you eat, drink and when will help a good number of individuals with their symptoms.
♡ Secret Tips
Do those Kegel's, even prophylactically
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