stress incontinence in women

Last reviewed 01/2018

Stress incontinence is defined by the involuntary loss of urine through an intact urethra secondary to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure and in the absence of detrusor activity. It is associated with a defect of the urethral sphincter. Urine loss occurs when the intra-vesical pressure exceeds the maximum urethral pressure.

Most patients complain of involuntary loss of urine on coughing or straining. Often, this accompanied by symptoms of frequency and urgency.

The severity of the stress incontinence may be graded:

  • associated with severe stress - coughing, sneezing, jogging
  • associated with moderate stress - walking up and down stairs
  • associated with mild stress - standing