What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress Incontinence is said to occur when a simple activity such as sneezing or coughing results in the leakage of a little amount of urine from the urethra. SI is undoubtedly, the most common kind of incontinence that occurs in women particularly, older women. Moreover, those women, who gave birth, tend to develop SI.

Some Common Causes

Simple activities or movements such as sneezing, coughing or lifting exert more abdominal pressure on your bladder causing leakage of urine. Most healthy adults are able to hold more than two cups of urine at a time, in their bladder. Urinary Incontinence may occur when the muscles responsible for holding the urine become weak and do not function properly. This condition is triggered by the weakness of pelvic floor muscles or a really weak sphincter muscle found near the neck of your bladder. The issue may involve the manner in which your sphincter muscle actually, opens or closes leading to SI. Obesity, chronic coughing and smoking may trigger SI.

Stress Incontinence particularly, in women could be the result of some physical changes in your body. The physical changes could be caused by factors including:

  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy & childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Weakness of muscles surrounding the bladder
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Issues with muscles located in your bladder.

In SI cases, the pelvic muscles could become weak and result in the bladder to be dropped down in such a way that the urethra is not able to close completely. This results in the leakage of urine.

Usual Symptoms

The most common symptom of Stress Incontinence is leakage of urine when you:

  • Stand
  • Exercise
  • Sneeze
  • Cough
  • Are physically active
  • Have sexual intercourse

Treatment of SI

SI could be treated effectively in 4 ways:

  • Medicines
  • Behaviour changes
  • Training pelvic floor muscles
  • Surgery

Surgeries for Correcting Stress Incontinence

Surgeries as with most issues are the last resort when other treatments fail to alleviate the condition. Surgery is suggested in case of severe urinary incontinence. Accurate diagnosis is important before going for a surgery as different cases need different solutions. Some of the common surgical procedures for correcting Stress Incontinence are:

Anterior Vaginal Repair: This is effective in restoring sagging and weak vaginal walls.

Bulking Injections: These are used for making the area all around your urethra thicker, to assist in controlling leakage. This procedure may have to be repeated in a few months or after a few years.

Artificial Urinary Sphincter: This device is effective in keeping urine from leaking. This is implemented mostly in male patients.

Retro Pubic Suspensions: These are implemented for lifting the bladder as well as the urethra.

Tension-Free Vaginal Tape:  This helps in supporting the urethra and the bladder.

Vaginal Sling: This is used in procedures for supporting the urethra.

Male Sling: This is actually a mesh tape that is useful in exerting pressure on your urethra. This procedure is easier than implementing artificial urinary sphincters.

Dr Mark Attalla is a fully qualified and committed Cosmetic Surgeon with immense experience in Cosmetic Surgery. His presentations are a regular feature in international and national conferences. He keeps himself abreast with cutting-edge surgical techniques and skills by attending workshops. He is the director and founder of Chelsea Cosmetic Clinic, Melbourne.

At the Chelsea Cosmetic Clinic, we offer superior surgery and unmatched patient-care at affordable rates. We take immense pride in our team of highly experienced and fully-qualified cosmetic surgery doctors. We respect patient privacy and handle patient information with utmost care.