Urinary incontinence is a condition that is not really unheard of, as it plagues a significant number of people today. Further, there is a condition called stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the infamous accidental leak, which Dr. Cletus Georges discusses in this article.
As urinary incontinence is the unintentional release of urine, SUI is the same, except that a physical movement or activity triggers this. Some of the known triggers are relatively routine and mundane actions, like laughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, shifty movements, or practically any external “stressor” that puts pressure on the bladder, from which the condition gets its name.
There are several risk factors for SUI. When a person reaches a certain age, it is quite normal for the muscles to get weaker, and along with this, it may become harder to control the urge to urinate, explains Dr. Cletus Georges. There is also evidence that women who have previously had normal child delivery are more likely to experience SUI than those who had a cesarean section. Men who have had surgery for prostate cancer are also risk factors for SUI, and the same goes for women who have undergone a hysterectomy.
Statistically, SUI is a more common bladder problem for women than it is for men. Research shows that one out of every three women encounters some form of SUI at some point in their lives. Further, around a third of women aged 60 find that they sometimes leak urine, whereas, for women aged 65, the number increases to half of the surveyed sample, Dr. Cletus Georges points out. The incidence of men who have SUI is mostly attributed to prostate cancer surgery or pelvic nerve injury.
There are also psychosocial consequences that people with SUI have to face. Having this condition has gotten in the way of daily social activities for some people.
A person who has SUI may argue that having to deal with the embarrassment of having an accidental leak while someone else is around may be more difficult to handle than the condition itself. It can certainly affect family and sexual relationships. Even some people would tend to isolate themselves from society to spare themselves from shame.
Urologists like Dr. Cletus Georges urge anyone who suspects that they have SUI to seek a physician’s advice. SUI is not a hopeless case, and there are ways to manage this condition.