• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Treatment options for stress urinary incontinence

June 7, 2019

Urinary incontinence is a common issue for many women, especially those who have had children. Simple physical activity can put pressure or stress on your bladder causing urine to be involuntarily released. Dr. Emanuel Trabuco, a Mayo Clinic urogynecologist, specializes in the care of women with pelvic floor conditions. He says there are treatment options that can help.

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For some women, a laugh among friends or a round of golf can lead to an unpleasant moment. Dr. Trabuco says it's called stress urinary incontinence — loss of urine with physical activities such as coughing, laughing, sneezing and exercise. 

"Having prior deliveries, particularly vaginal deliveries, puts women at higher risk.”

Middle-aged women, those who smoke and are overweight are also at risk. Fortunately, treatment works.

"Working with the physical therapist is greatly beneficial if they have weak pelvic floor," says Dr. Trabuco.

When therapy or over-the-counter options don't help, surgery may be an answer.  

"There are both mesh-containing surgeries and non-mesh-containing surgeries," says Dr. Trabuco.

Another less invasive option is the midurethral sling.

"80% to 85% of the women are either significantly dry or completely dry," says Dr. Trabuco.

Most important, he says, is talking with your health care provider. 

"There are surgical and nonsurgical options that we can do to treat a condition that's greatly bothersome and impacts quality of life."

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