Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a condition where physical movements such as coughing, sneezing, running puts pressure on the bladder causing urine leak. A urologist has to be met in order to get relief from the condition. Your doctor will give you the best treatment based on your symptoms. We shall now understand the different ways Stress Urinary Incontinence can be treated and total relief be given to the person.

Your bladder stores the urine, it is made of elastic tissue that can stretch as the urine fills while the muscles are ready to be squeezed to release the urine when it needs to be emptied. The tube that carries urine out of the bladder is the urethra, which is surrounded by sphincter muscles, which help in keeping the urethra closed, so that there is no leakage. When you need to urinate, the brain signals the bladder muscle to contract, at the same time the urethral sphincter muscles relax and open. This action empties the bladder releasing all the stored urine.

Stress Urinary Incontinence is a problem with the loss of control over urination. A small quantity of urine is released when the pressure in the bladder increases(SUI), or there is a sudden urge to urinate which is termed Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI). There could be a section of people who have both Stress Urinary Incontinence as well as Overactive Bladder, this condition is termed “Mixed Incontinence”. The anatomical difference between Stress Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder is that the former is a urethra problem and the latter is a bladder problem.

Simple problems in daily life with Stress Urinary Incontinence could be you are afraid if the bathroom is far away, you stop exercising or sports, you are uncomfortable because you are afraid of leakage, relationship with friends and family changes, or you are avoiding sex as it might embarrass you.

A simple call to your healthcare provider should fix the problem. Before all that let us evaluate the factors that could be involved for having a SUI.

Females are more likely to get Stress Urinary Incontinence as it is connected to pregnancy and childbirth. Nerve injuries to the lower back, pelvic or prostate surgery, chronic coughing, smoking or being overweight.

Some tests would be done in order to confirm the diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence, they include –  a urinalysis or a urine sample which tests for urinary tract infection or blood in the urine. A bladder scan after urinating, that would show how much urine is left over in the bladder after urinating. A Cystoscope is used to determine any problems in the urinary tract, a Urodynamic study that tests how well the bladder sphincters and urethra hold and release the urine.

These tests will help find the cause of the urine leakage and decide to go in for a surgery or not.

Lifestyle Changes in everyday life could reduce  SUI symptoms, like loose weight, quit smoking and maintain overall health, you can reduce leaks. Bladder training or using a schedule for bathroom visits are other factors that could help.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises also known as Kegels are proven to strengthen your pelvic floor that supports the bladder and other organs. As the muscles become stronger, it could help prevent urine loss.

Pads are a quick fix or long term option as they absorb the urine leak. They come in the form of pads or pull-on briefs and help solving if it is not a major leak.

Medical Devices are available for women who have weak pelvic floor muscles, they are called urethral plugs, vaginal devices  and pessaries. Whereas medical devices for men are a penile clamp/clip to prevent leaks.

Sling for Women is a surgery for SUI in women, which involves placing a small strip of material under the urethra and stopping it from moving downward during activities. It supports the urethra and the neck of the bladder.

Urethral Injections are given in order to bulk up the urethra thus improving the way the sphincter closes.

Tips to Stay Healthy after any treatment for SUI would be – take time to allow yourself to heal after a surgery, over time the medical devices may need adjustments, stay in touch with your surgeon about follow-up care, follow all instructions given by your doctor.

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