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Causes of Stress Incontinence in Women

While stress urinary incontinence is more common as women age, it is not caused simply by aging. A number of factors influence SUI including:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth, which can stretch, weaken or even damage pelvic floor muscles
  • Neurological conditions that cause damage to the nerves including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and spinal cord injuries
  • Obesity
  • Chronic cough, oftentimes caused by smoking
  • Certain medications, excessive alcohol consumption, and caffeine
  • Menopause, due to decreased hormones
  • Pelvic surgery or radiation treatment

Symptoms of Stress Incontinence

Common symptoms of SUI in women include:

  • Urine leaks when you cough, laugh, sneeze, exercise, lift heavy objects, etc.
  • Urine leakage worsens when your bladder is full


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