What is Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)?

SUI is a type of incontinence characterized by involuntary loss of urine that affects around 200 million women worldwide. 

SUI is the most common type of urinary incontinence and is estimated to affect around 1 in 3 women during their life in varying degrees of severity. 

It is a very common condition that is often caused by weakening of the sphincter muscle that controls the urethra and the pelvic floor tissues and muscles that are used to keep the urethra closed.  This tissue and muscle weakening can lead to urine loss when you cough, sneeze, laugh, do sports or other activities that increase pressure (also known as stress) on the abdomen. Hence the name SUI.  

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Potential causes of SUI

Pregnancy and childbirth
Hormonal deviations
Abundant use or abuse of caffein and/or alcohol
High impact activities and sports
Chronic coughing or sneezing

Impact of SUI

SUI may vary from mild to severe loss of urine and can seriously affect your quality of life. It can negatively affect different aspect of your life such as social interactions, your sex life, work, travel and sports. 

So, stop hesitating and contact your Family doctor now to discuss your situation.

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Treatment options

There are multiple factors involved in SUI and choosing a treatment option. It is important to receive medical advice from your doctor in choosing the right treatment for you. Treatment options for SUI vary from (pelvic floor) physiotherapy to surgical interventions.

Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT)

Exercises intended to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Minimally invasive treatments such as (permanent) urethral bulking agents (UBA) and Urolon®

UBA as well as Urolon are injected around the urethra to close (coapt) the urethral lumen to better resist abdominal pressure (stress) on the bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing, etc.

Surgical Interventions

Placement of a synthetic sling, or mesh, to provide support to the urethral tissue has been the most used procedure to treat SUI over the last years. However, its long-term safety and complication rate is currently the topic of (international) discussion.

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