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A quick trip up a flight of stairs or a sudden outburst of laughter and you feel it—a leak that seemingly came out of nowhere and has now put a damper on things. You should know you are not the only one who experiences this.
Millions of women experience an intermittent, slight loss of bladder control, called stress incontinence, due to activities like laughing, exercising, and sneezing.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask your doctor for help
Stress incontinence can happen to women at any age. “Pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are weakened by childbirth, age, and various other factors. After menopause, women often have an increased propensity to experience all forms of incontinence, many of which are treatable,” says Urogynecologist Dr. Janelle Evans.
While it may be embarrassing, there is no need to continue to live with incontinence. The first step in managing stress incontinence is to tell your doctor that you’re having problems. He or she may advise:
- Kegel exercises
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes
- Bladder training
Find out if you could benefit from stress incontinence treatments by taking a bladder quiz at ketteringhealth.org/bladderquiz.
If you need to see a urogynecologist, learn more at ketteringhealth.org/urogynecology.
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