Stress incontinence occurs when your bladder leaks urine during physical activity or exertion. It may happen when you cough, lift something heavy, change positions, or exercise.
Incontinence - stress; Bladder incontinence stress; Pelvic prolapse - stress incontinence; Stress incontinence; Leakage of urine - stress incontinence; Urinary leakage - stress incontinence; Pelvic floor - stress incontinence
Most adults can hold over 2 cups (480 milliliters) of urine in their bladder. Stress incontinence occurs when the muscles that control your ability to hold urine get weak or do not work.
- The bladder and urethra are supported by the pelvic floor muscles. Urine flows from your bladder through your urethra to the outside.
- The sphincter is a muscle around the opening of the bladder. It squeezes to prevent urine from leaking through the urethra.
When either set of muscles become weak, urine can pass when pressure is placed on your bladder. You may notice it when you:
- Lift heavy objects
Weakened muscles may be caused by:
- Injury to the urethra area
- Some medicines
- Surgery in the pelvic area or the prostate (in men)
- Unknown causes
Stress incontinence is the most common type in women. Some things increase your risk, such as:
- You have had more than one pregnancy and vaginal delivery.
- You have pelvic prolapse. This is when your bladder, urethra, or rectum slide into the vagina. Delivering a baby can cause nerve or tissue damage in the pelvic area. This can lead to pelvic prolapse months or years after delivery.