Overview

Stress Incontinence in Women

In women with stress incontinence, an increase in pressure in the abdomen momentarily puts physical stress on the pelvis, causing urine loss. Activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising and even standing up can cause leakage in women with this type of incontinence.

Treatments include behavioral therapies — such as biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises — vaginal inserts, electrical stimulation and surgery.

Our Approach to Stress Incontinence in Women

Incontinence is not an inevitable part of getting older, and there are a variety of treatments available. A leader in this field, UCSF offers innovative, compassionate care to women with stress incontinence. Our team includes gynecologists, urologists, colorectal surgeons and physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation. Treatment options include use of a vaginal insert called a pessary, as well as targeted exercises, biofeedback and electrical stimulation to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. We also offer the two main surgical treatments for incontinence, bladder neck suspension and sling procedures.

We believe that empowering women with knowledge is an important part of the healing process, and encourage each patient to participate in choosing the best treatment option for her.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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