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What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

Do you worry about urinary incontinence when coughing or sneezing? What about when lifting something heavy?

If you do, you’re not alone.

Urinary incontinence affects both men and women and can range from minor leaks to more severe urges.

Though everyday habits and underlying medical conditions can exacerbate urinary incontinence, its two most common forms – stress incontinence and urge incontinence – are caused by weakness in the pelvic floor muscles.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

In the video below, Buffalo Rehab Group Pelvic Health Specialist, Dr. Mary Roberts, PT DPT, discusses stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and their causes.

Stress Incontinence

Your bladder has a very close relationship with your pelvic floor muscles.

When your pelvic floor muscles become weak, they struggle to support increases in pressure to your abdomen. Pressure is caused when you do things like cough, sneeze, laugh, or lift something heavy.

When the pressure becomes too great, bladder leakage occurs.

This is what is known as stress incontinence.

Urge Incontinence

Like stress incontinence, urge incontinence is also caused by weakness in the pelvic floor muscles.

Your bladder is a muscle, which squeezes to let you know when it’s full.

If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, you may lack the ability to control this squeeze and involuntarily release small to moderate amounts of urine.

Urge incontinence is sometimes referred to as “key in door” syndrome or “ley in lock” syndrome as it describes what happens when you feel the urge to urinate, arrive home, and just as you hit your doorstep you get hit with a sudden and intense urge, accompanied by bladder leakage.

Don’t let urinary incontinence slow you down.

If you experience urinary incontinence and it’s keeping you from doing the things you love, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can help.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy strengthens the muscles in your pelvic floor, which can help you regain bladder control.

To learn more about whether Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is right for you, click the button below and schedule an evaluation with our Pelvic Health Specialist.