Stress Incontinence - Causes and Treatments

Stress Incontinence - Causes and Treatments

Stress incontinence is a condition that causes you to leak urine during activities such as coughing, laughing or physical movement.

This is a serious and embarrassing problem that can affect your work, social life and sexual relations. It can be a barrier to daily activities and cause embarrassment, anxiety or depression.

Using products such as reusable incontinence underwear has become extremely popular for people struggling with urinary incontinence while they seek treatment.

Pregnancy and childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth may stretch, strain or tear the muscles and supporting tissues that hold the uterus, bladder and rectum in place. This can make them lose their shape, causing urinary incontinence.

The pelvic nerves also may be stretched and injured, affecting the signals that let the bladder control muscles work properly. This can happen if the labor is long and difficult, or if you need to push with forceps during delivery.

Most women who have stress incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth heal within a few months without needing treatment, but some women may need surgery to repair damage. If you are having incontinence problems, talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Old age

If your loved one is suffering from stress incontinence, talk to them about treatment options. You may be able to help them get rid of this condition and live more independently.

The World Health Organization and other organizations define the elderly as those who are 65 years or older. However, people are living longer than ever before, so the age that is considered old is shifting.

The sphincter that prevents urine from leaving your bladder can become weak due to age, surgery, and other changes. This can cause urinary incontinence in both men and women. It can also occur after childbirth. For women, pelvic floor muscles and ligaments can be damaged during delivery.


When your bladder is under stress (like coughing, laughing or exercising) it can leak a small amount of urine. This is called stress incontinence.

This condition is most common among women, especially those assigned female at birth (AFAB) and those who have given birth or gone through menopause. During these times, the oestrogen that helps maintain the thickness of the urethra is less plentiful.

The sphincter muscle that controls the flow of urine out of the bladder is also sometimes affected.

Smoking cigarettes is a harmful habit that can lead to many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and a range of lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. It can also affect your sexual health and make it harder to get pregnant.

Prostate surgery

If you have prostate cancer, you may need to have surgery called radical prostatectomy (RP). During RP, your doctor removes your prostate gland and some surrounding tissue.

Your doctor will also remove some lymph nodes to find out how far the cancer has spread. This helps them to decide if you need further treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Prostate cancer treatments can sometimes cause urinary control problems, including stress incontinence. This is because your sphincter muscle can become weak or damaged.

You can help control leakage by exercising your pelvic floor muscles (Kegel exercises) and bladder retraining. There are also some medicines that can help to keep your sphincter muscle tight.


The diet you eat and drink is a key part of your bladder's health. Certain foods and drinks can irritate your bladder, making it more likely to leak urine.

A poor diet may also put you at greater risk for stress incontinence. Having a healthy diet with plenty of water and fruits, vegetables and lean protein can help prevent urinary incontinence and other conditions like constipation that weaken the muscles surrounding your bladder.

Foods high in caffeine, such as coffee and tea, can aggravate your symptoms of stress incontinence. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and replace them with decaffeinated alternatives.