Welcome to HTX Urology, your trusted source for information on urinary incontinence from our specialists in Greater Houston Heights, Memorial City, Galleria, Webster, and Clear Lake, Texas. Women experiencing involuntary urine leakage when they sneeze, cough, and laugh may be affected by stress urinary incontinence or SUI. Although this condition may not pose a health risk, without intervention, the impact on a woman’s quality of life care can be more significant as the symptoms may become more severe. To help answer some initial questions, let us explore the causes, prevention, and treatment options for stress urinary incontinence from the experts at HTX Urology.

What Is the Cause of Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence stems from a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles or dysfunction of the urethral sphincter. Several factors can contribute to the development of SUI in women:

Pregnancy and Childbirth– The physical strain of pregnancy and vaginal delivery can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles, making it a common trigger for SUI.

Aging– With age, muscles naturally lose strength and elasticity, including those supporting the bladder and urethra.

Surgical Procedures– Certain surgeries, such as hysterectomies, can affect the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder.

Obesity– Excess body weight increases abdominal pressure, which can lead to pelvic floor muscle strain.

Chronic Coughing– Conditions that lead to chronic coughing, like asthma or smoking, can exacerbate the pressure on pelvic organs.

What Can Help Prevent Stress Urinary Incontinence?

While not all cases of SUI can be prevented, there are steps women can take to minimize their risk:

Pelvic Floor Exercises– Regularly performing Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, offering better support to the bladder and urethra.

Maintain a Healthy Weight– Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the pressure on the bladder and pelvic muscles.

Avoid Smoking– Smoking cessation can decrease the risk of chronic coughing and its impact on SUI.

Practice Good Bathroom Habits– Avoid straining during urination or bowel movements, as this can weaken the pelvic floor over time.

What Are the Treatment Options for Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Treatment for SUI varies based on the severity of symptoms and the underlying cause. Options include:

Lifestyle Modifications– Simple changes, such as fluid management and avoiding bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol, can help manage mild SUI symptoms.

Pelvic Floor Therapy– Pelvic floor rehabilitation can significantly improve symptoms by strengthening the muscles that support bladder control.

Medication– While there are limited pharmacological options specifically for SUI, medications can be used to manage associated conditions, potentially reducing SUI symptoms.

Non-surgical Treatment– Devices like urethral inserts or pessaries may be recommended to support the bladder neck and urethra, preventing leakage.

Surgical Treatments– For more severe cases or when other treatments fail, surgical options such as sling procedures or urethral bulking agents can provide long-term relief.

Contact Us for More Information

Please contact us to request a consultation If you are experiencing involuntary urine leakage. We specialize in providing compassionate and comprehensive urological health care from diagnosis to treatment. To learn more about symptom management and treatment options for female stress urinary incontinence, contact an HTX Urology office today, conveniently located to serve Greater Houston Heights, Memorial City, Galleria, Webster, and Clear Lake, Texas.