What Causes Bladder Weakness (or Stress Urinary Incontinence)?
Understanding the causes of bladder weakness, also known as Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), is crucial. Typically, bladder weakness occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor or sphincter become damaged or weakened. Both men and women possess a pelvic floor, which consists of layers of muscles that support the bladder and bowel. The sphincter, a circular muscle encircling the urethra (the tube through which urine passes), contracts to form a seal as the bladder fills, preventing urine leakage.
In women, these muscles can be weakened during pregnancy due to the added weight and hormonal changes. Childbirth, especially if it is prolonged or involves a large baby, can exacerbate the issue. Some women may experience SUI following menopause when the pelvic floor weakens due to hormonal fluctuations. Additionally, stress urinary incontinence may develop after a hysterectomy or bladder surgery.
Individuals who have suffered from chronic constipation or have a persistent cough are also more susceptible to stress urinary incontinence. However, it is important to note that loss of bladder control is a prevalent problem that can be effectively treated through various approaches, including
- lifestyle changes
- pelvic floor muscle exercises
- pessary usage
- and surgery.
A pessary, a silicone device inserted into the vagina, is one such treatment option for SUI. It provides support to the vaginal walls, bladder, and urethra. Pessaries come in different shapes and sizes, and our expert, Jennifer Lawton, will guide you in selecting the most suitable one for your needs. She will ensure a proper fit, educate you on its maintenance, and address any concerns you may have.