Get the facts about SUI.
What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is an involuntary loss of urine that occurs when pressure is exerted on the bladder during physical activity. The amount of urine loss can range from a few drops to tablespoons or more, depending on the severity of the condition. Similarly, activities that trigger urine loss can range from high-impact exercise to low-impact actions like sneezing or laughing.
What are the symptoms?
While incontinence is associated with several conditions, SUI is only caused by physical activity—playing sports, exercising, sneezing, laughing, coughing, lifting, etc. In cases of severe SUI, low-impact actions like standing up, walking or bending over can also produce urine loss.
How did I get it?
Though SUI is more common among older women, it is not inherently a part of the aging process. Factors that increase a woman's chance of developing SUI include belonging to the Caucasian or Hispanic race, obesity, smoking and chronic coughing. Pregnancy and childbirth can also contribute to SUI as they may stretch, weaken or damage the pelvic floor muscles.
What should I do?
Visit "Find Patient Resources" to explore your options. Then talk to your doctor about choosing the right one. Recording urine loss in an SUI diary can help your doctor ensure proper management and treatment. Incontinence support groups can also be a great help. Check to see if one's available in your community.