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Urinary Stress Incontinence

When you experience a loss in control with your bladder, it’s highly likely that it’s urinary incontinence.  You don’t really have a problem until it happens all too frequently and until it affects your life in a big way.  There are many types of incontinence but one of the most common is .  This occurs with activities like coughing or laughing and then a small amount of urine leaks out from the urethra.  Urinary stress incontinence happens to both men and women, although it’s a more common symptom for females to experience.

Causes of Urinary Stress Incontinence in Women

Seeing that it’s women who mostly suffer from this condition- let us take a look at what causes this to happen in women.

Pregnancy/Childbirth
Menopause
Menstruation
Problems with the bladder muscles
Surgery

Symptoms for Urinary Incontinence

The biggest symptom related to urinary stress incontinence is that you have a leakage of urine with certain physical movement or activity.  Imagine that you’re in a bar with your friends and one of them tells a very funny story.  When you laugh, you can feel a dribble or urine leak out.  This can also happen when you lift heavy items.

What Urinary Stress Incontinence Indicates

Regardless of the causes, you have to understand that there’s only one major thing that happens to the structure of your body.  Due to surgery, pregnancy or even menstruation, your pelvic muscles might have weakened.  Without the necessary strength, the bladder drops down to a position where the urethra is left open.  The smallest opening with the urethra allows urine collected in the bladder to pass freely.  Even if you’ve already emptied your bladder, you can still leak urine out when the smallest amount is produced.

Getting Prepared for an Appointment with your Doctor

If you suspect that you have urinary stress incontinence, you can't just read information online or from health books and try to treat your condition yourself.  You have a better chance of doing it right with the help of an expert in the field.  The first step is to pay your family doctor a visit.  You can get good advice too when you set an appointment up with a urologist or urogynecologist.  Through their expertise, the type of incontinence you have can be determined and the proper methods for treatment can be implemented.

You might like to ask your doctor about any pre-appointment restrictions when you set the appointment up.  It might help if you don’t eat certain foods for the best assessment.  You also have to make a list of the symptoms that you’re experiencing.  This also includes those that might not seem related to urinary stress incontinence.  A list of the medications you take is also important to bring along with you.  You’ll be more prepared if you write down the questions you need to ask your doctor.

Common Medical Tests for Diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence

When you set an appointment up with your doctor to check for urinary stress incontinence, you have to be prepared for staying a longer time for getting tests done like the blood test and the urinalysis.  For the most part, you’ll also be given a bladder diary where you can keep track of your symptoms, what you drink, the amount of urine you produce and the like for further reference with diagnosis.  If any more information is needed, you might have to undergo specialized testing.

Specialized Tests for Urinary Stress Incontinence

Pelvic ultrasound
Cystogram
Post void residual measurement
Urodynamic testing
Cystoscopy
Stress test

The Treatment Plan

When the type of incontinence has been determined, you’ll be provided with information on what you can do for dealing with the condition.  This would also depend largely on how severe the condition is as well as if there are any underlying causes.  For the most part, you’ll have conservative approaches like physical therapy, medications and behavioral techniques.  It’s only when these techniques fail that the more aggressive options are employed for curing urinary stress incontinence like surgery.

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