What Causes Stress Incontinence?

One may call it an “accident” in adults. Stress incontinence is an inconvenient event when urine leaks uncontrollably, resulting from extra pressure put on the bladder. This usually happens when performing strenuous physical activity, forceful coughing or passionate laughing.

According to Amy S. D. Lee, MS, WHCRNP, in her article in Yahoo! Health, stress incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles and the urethra become weakened. These bladder muscles, whenever pressure is exerted, may not be strong enough to hold urine. As a result, urine leaks out.

Factors that increase a person’s risk for stress incontinence include having previously given birth, injury to the urethra, surgery performed on the pelvis and pelvic prolapse. Certain medications may also trigger stress incontinence.

Women are more likely to experience stress incontinence. Having a chronic cough may also induce stress incontinence, which may result from giving out a forceful cough. In addition, age, being overweight and smoking are known risk factors for stress incontinence.

For women, the best way to prevent uncontrollable urine leaking is to start performing Kegel exercises. These strengthen the muscles that hold back the urine and prevent it from leaking uncontrollably. Do ten repetitions of this exercise by squeezing the vaginal muscles as if you’re trying to stop the urine from flowing.

Drink less. If you think drinking around six to eight glasses per day may have contributed to your stress incontinence, minimize your fluid intake. As an alternative, you could urinate more often. Empty your bladder to maintain urine volume at a minimum level. Also, alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine and citrus fruit juices are known to stimulate the bladder. It helps to keep consumption down to a minimum.

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