Yes women often have some issues with urine leakage when we least expect it, or worse do expect it and don’t know what to do about it!
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the most common form of incontinence in women under 60. There are many reasons for SUI, childbirth is a big culprit and this affects a large percentage of women who have experienced vaginal birth(s). Other causes include smoking, illnesses that cause chronic cough, obesity, hysterectomy, repeated heavy lifting, loss of muscle tone and menopause. SUI is very different than Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI), which is the sudden unstoppable loss of urine and should be evaluated by your physician.
The good news is that there are things you can do, on your own, to modify mild cases of SUI. Kegel exercises can dramatically improve this problem as they strengthen the muscles that support the bladder, uterus and bowels. Losing weight can be very helpful in reducing SUI, if obesity is a cause. There are also over-the-counter products, such as Poise Impressa, that can be used at times when women know they are likely to have leakage, like dancing or exercising.
If your SUI is not mild or these home activities do not reduce or eliminate your problems then you need to see your gynecologist for evaluation. No one has to suffer from SUI or other forms of incontinence, there are many treatment options that our physicians can discuss with you.