What is Female Stress Incontinence?

Female Stress incontinence is a condition when female fails to control their urination in certain situations. Female stress incontinence is a very serious and at the same time very embarrassing condition which forces an individual to maintain isolation from the social world. Any sort of pressure on bladder or in the abdominal region can lead to release of urine. The term stress in stress incontinence denotes the physical stress or pressure on the bladder/abdomen and not the mental stress. Some of the people get confused between overactive bladder and female stress incontinence and consider them same. However, both of these are separate conditions and can also occur at the same time. The condition when both overactive bladder and Stress incontinence occur simultaneously is known as mixed incontinence. Doctors prescribe tests to diagnose the exact cause of female stress incontinence.

What is Female Stress Incontinence?

Causes of Female Stress Incontinence

Studies conducted on female stress incontinence has revealed the fact that women are twice as more prone to stress incontinence than men. This is so because one of the major causes of Stress incontinence includes pregnancy or multiple child births from normal deliveries. During pregnancy, the pelvic muscle and the sphincter stretch a lot making them week. This is not the end; older people suffering from chronic cough may also develop female stress incontinence. Further, patients who have undergone pelvic surgery can also suffer from female stress incontinence as a side effect.

In fact some of the females face female stress incontinence just before their menstruation cycle. According to NIDDK this happens because that during menstrual cycle considerable drop of estrogen is observed in patient causing adverse affect on the urethra. This is a very rare condition and is not very commonly found. If we talk about men, then in them prostate surgery is the chief cause leading to stress incontinence. Urethra in men is completed covered by prostate gland; if this prostate gland is removed from the body for any reason then it ultimately leads to weakening or urethra. Other factors that can cause female stress incontinence are:

  • Excess weight can cause female stress incontinence.
  • Chronic smoking
  • Excess intake of alcohol and caffeine
  • Chronic cough
  • Constipation
  • Constant involvement in heavy activities
  • Hormonal Imbalance may also cause female stress incontinence.

Symptoms of Female Stress Incontinence

One of the prime symptoms of female stress incontinence is the lack of control on the bladder specially while performing any sort of physical activity. One can experience slow or heavy urine flow, which cannot be controlled. This situation occurs while:

  • Sneezing
  • Constant coughing
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Laughing
  • Jumping
  • Extensive workout
  • Peeing while performing sexual activity could be a symptom of female stress incontinence.

There are times when changing the position from standing to sitting and vice versa or reclining the position can put stress on the bladder leafing to urination. Symptoms of female stress incontinence vary with individual; this means every female experience some unique symptoms of this physical disorder of female stress incontinence.

Diagnosis of Female Stress Incontinence

Medical practitioners look for clues for identifying the health condition of female stress incontinence. They ask their patient about their past medical history and examine the abdominal and genital region of the patient. Prescribe urine tests to know if there are blood traces found in urine and other symptoms. They also conduct deep examination of pelvic nerve to know about its functioning. Accurate diagnosis is very important for identifying the exact cause and severity of the female stress incontinence. Based on diagnosis appropriate treatment methods are suggested to the patient. If the problem is in its initial stage then it can be rated with medication but in case the problem becomes huge then surgery is recommended.

Treatment for Female Stress Incontinence

Based on the condition of patient Doctors may opt for different combinations of medical strategies for treating female stress incontinence. This helps in eliminating or considerably reducing the effect of incontinence.

  1. Surgery for Female Stress Incontinence

    Surgeries are performed to successfully improving the closure of sphincter in women. Each of the surgeries treats female stress incontinence in different ways. Some of the surgical options executed on patients are:

    • Retro pubic colposuspension- This surgical procedure involves abdominal incision for providing better support to urethra and treat female stress incontinence.
    • Injectable bulking agents – Gel is injected in the tissues present around the urethra. This enhances the closing ability of sphincter. This is not a permanent treatment, hence; multiple injections of gel are required from time to time to treat female stress incontinence.
    • Sling procedure is another way to treat female stress incontinence. This is the most effective surgeries performed by doctors. In this tissue of the female patient is used for creating a sling for supporting urethra. Other than this, animal or donors tissues can also be used for creating sling. This procedure is used for the male patients as well but only for those who suffer from mild stress incontinence.
  2. Performing Exercise for Female Stress Incontinence

    One of the very common and frequent mistakes committed by majority of women is that they adopt a workout regimen without taking any suggestion from experts. This unknowingly causes adverse affect on different parts of the body including the pelvic region, which ultimately causes female stress incontinence. Hence, one should start workout only under expert's supervision. There are many female stress incontinence exercises such as kegel exercises that helps patient of female stress incontinence to overcome the condition and develop control on urination.

Prevention of Female Stress Incontinence

The list of prevention tips for female stress incontinence includes:

  • Getting rid of excess body fat and maintain proper body weight
  • Prohibiting intake of alcohol or smoking
  • Regularly performing exercises that helps in strengthening pelvic muscles especially after child birth is a good way to prevent female stress incontinence.
  • Preventing cough.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 15, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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