Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress incontinence results from movements that put pressure on the bladder and cause urine leakage, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activity. Physical changes from pregnancy and childbirth often cause stress incontinence.

Weakening of pelvic floor muscles can cause the bladder to move downward, pushing the bladder slightly out of the bottom of the pelvis and making it difficult for the sphincters to squeeze tightly enough. As a result, urine can leak during moments of physical stress. Stress incontinence can also occur without the bladder moving downward if the urethra wall is weak. This type of incontinence is common in women, and a health care professional can treat the condition.

UI is not a disease. UI can be a symptom of certain conditions or the result of certain events during a woman’s life. Conditions or events that may increase a woman’s chance of developing UI include

  • childbirth—the childbirth process can damage the muscles and nerves that control urination
  • chronic coughing—long-lasting coughing increases pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles
  • menopause—reduces production of the hormone that keeps the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy
  • neurological problems—women with diseases or conditions that affect the brain and spine may have trouble controlling urination
  • physical inactivity—decreased activity can increase a woman’s weight and contribute to muscle weakness
  • obesity—extra weight can put pressure on the bladder, causing a need to urinate before the bladder is full
  • older age—bladder muscles can weaken over time, leading to a decrease in the bladder’s capacity to store urine
  • pelvic organ prolapse—causes sagging of the bladder, bowel, or uterus out of their normal positions
  • pregnancy—the fetus can put pressure on the bladder during pregnancy

The Ultra Femme 360™ is a device that rejuvenates the vagina and is used at Harbin Clinic Women's Center Rome. This device uses radiofrequency to treat symptoms that arise from childbirth and menopause such as vaginal dryness, inner and outer vaginal laxity and stress urinary incontinence.