What is Stress Incontinence
- Monday, 15 August 2011
Stress incontinence is a condition that affects millions of people each year. Essentially, incontinence is the unintentional release of urine from the bladder for one of several reasons. Stress incontinence is one of those reasons.
In normal function the kidneys produce urine which then travels down the ureters (tubes from the kidney to the bladder) and drains into the bladder. Once there it is stored until receptors located in the bladder wall sense that the muscle has been stretched and needs to be emptied. This triggers the feeling that you have to go to the bathroom.
The urine drains from the bladder to the exterior through the urethra. In women this is located just above the vagina and in men it is at the tip of the penis.
There are muscles in the pelvic floor that support the bladder and stabilize the neck and urethra. There are also muscles at the neck of the bladder and urethra that act as a valve to allow the urine to be released.
When the bladder fills and expands the sphincter at the neck of the urethra doesnt allow the urine to be released.
When a person suffers from stress incontinence they essentially release urine unintentionally because the bladder either isnt supported enough by the muscles in the pelvic floor or the sphincter has become weakened. Sometimes this results in a complete emptying of the bladder and at other times it results in just some leakage.
In this condition the release of urine comes after there is physical stress placed on the pelvic muscles of the abdomen. This is related to psychological stress. Different types of behaviors will result in stress in the abdominal cavity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercise and even going to standing from sitting....