Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

 Stress urinary incontinence

SUI affects one in three women over 45 years old. Women most commonly develop SUI from changes that happen in pregnancy or childbirth which weaken the support to the urethra. Chronic coughing, constipation, obesity, aging, smoking, or extreme weight lifting can also cause SUI. Genetics may also play a role. 


The bladder walls are made of muscles. As urine flows into the bladder, the walls expand to make room for more fluid, like a water balloon. Sudden pressure caused by activity or "stress" unintentionally pushes urine through the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.


Some women leak occasionally, for example, only with intense exercise, heavy coughing, or when their bladder is very full. Others leak with activities such as walking or laughing. Women may limit physical and social activities to avoid SUI. There is no need to do this-talk to your medical provider about treatments that can make you dry. 


For more information about Stress Urinary Incontinence download this PDF.