Font Size
A
A
A

Stress Incontinence


Stress incontinence is the inability to control the release of urine when pressure on the abdominal muscles increases. This can occur when a person laughs, coughs, sneezes, lifts a heavy object, or jogs.

Increased pressure on the top of the bladder created by one of these actions forces urine past the valve that normally keeps urine in the bladder. This results in leakage. Causes of stress incontinence include changes in the nerves and muscles that control the release of urine.

Stress incontinence is the most common form of urinary incontinence in women. Multiple childbirths, aging, or being overweight may cause changes in the pelvic muscles and supportive structures that lead to stress incontinence. It may also occur in men, especially those who have had prostate surgery.

Stress incontinence often responds well to home treatment. Kegel exercises are especially helpful for many people. These exercises are basically repeated squeezing of the muscles used to stop urinating. Medicines, pessaries, or surgery are sometimes required. (A pessary is a rubber device that is placed in the vagina to help support the uterus, which may be pressing on the bladder.)

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAvery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last RevisedSeptember 11, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD


Medical Dictionary