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About Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a common, treatable condition in which sudden movements put stress on the bladder, causing urine to leak out involuntarily. Stress urinary incontinence is one of the most common types of urinary incontinence among women.

Because bladder leakage can be embarrassing, many women don’t talk about SUI or realize how common it is.

You may have stress urinary incontinence if you’ve experienced involuntary urine leakage while:

  • Laughing

  • Sneezing

  • Jumping

  • Standing up or lying down

  • Lifting something heavy

  • Exercising

Assess your symptoms to find out more.

Causes of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

Stress urinary incontinence occurs when pelvic muscles supporting the bladder and urethra have been damaged or weakened, so that they may not hold the urethra in its correct position. Sudden movements from the diaphragm put stress on the bladder, causing the urethra to lose its seal and allowing urine to leak out.

Factors that can lead to stress urinary incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Frequent heavy lifting

  • Estrogen deficiency or menopause

  • Obesity

Incontinence can also be a symptom of other pelvic health issues, like pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition in which organs in the pelvic region shift out of their normal position.

A common, treatable problem

Many women assume stress urinary incontinence is just a natural part of aging or an inevitable consequence of having children. Misconceptions like these prevent many women from learning that stress urinary incontinence is a common and treatable medical condition.

Consider this:

  • About 1 in 3 women suffers from stress urinary incontinence.1

  • Over 50% of women with stress urinary incontinence have never mentioned it to their doctor.1

Why keep planning your life around bladder leakage if you don’t have to? Learn more about treatment options for incontinence.

1. The Lewin Group. Prevalence and treatment patterns of pelvic health disorders among US women. 2007.


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