Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)


Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is when urine leaks out during moments of physical activity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. This is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women.

SUI can happen when the support tissue around the bladder weakens, allowing the bladder neck to drop during bursts of physical activity. SUI can also happen when the sphincter muscle that controls the urethra weakens. This weakened muscle isn’t able to doesn’t have enough strength to stop the flow of urine. Weakness can occur from pregnancy, childbirth, aging or prior pelvic surgery. Other factors include a chronic cough, straining, obesity and smoking.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

Pelvic Floor Exercises commonly referred to as Kegel exercises. Learn more about Kegel Exercises.

Pessary is a removable device that is inserted into the vagina to help reposition the urethra to reduce SUI. Learn more about vaginal pessaries and watch a video.

Transurethral Bulking Agents such as collagen injections around the urethra that makes the space around the urethra thicker are sometimes being used to help control leakage. The effects are usually not permanent.

Behavioral Modifications are avoiding things that can trigger episodes of leaking.

Surgical Treatment Options

Surgery to decrease or prevent urine leakage can be done through the vagina or abdomen. Most common is the sling procedure where a sling or tape is permanently implanted to support the urethra or bladder neck with surgical mesh or biologic non-mesh support.