Do you pee when you sneeze?

How many times has it happened to you — really? You sneeze, cough, laugh or exercise and urine leaks out.

How many times has it happened to you — really? You sneeze, cough, laugh or exercise and urine leaks out. Around 10 to 20 percent of women experience this, so you’re not alone. You might think it’s just a normal consequence of having children or from aging and menopause, but it’s not.

 “This kind of leakage is not normal,” said Ali Azadi, M.D., urogynecologist with Norton Women’s Specialists. “It’s called stress incontinence and it can cause many other issues with a woman’s quality of life, such as problems with relationships, avoidance of social situations, depression, anxiety and even obesity from avoiding movements that cause leakage.

“Women do not have to live with this. There is help.”

Stress incontinence occurs when there is weakness in the pelvic floor muscles or damage to the bladder neck support. It can be caused by pregnancy and vaginal birth, constipation, chronic cough and even genetics.

“There are many different options available to women, from physical therapy to strengthen the muscles to minimally invasive surgery,” Dr. Azadi said. “Losing weight can even make a big difference for some women.”

Physical therapy can be as simple as Kegel exercises or the slightly more involved biofeedback. There are multiple minimally invasive surgical options, some even using natural tissue.

Seeking help is an important first step.

“We’ll do a thorough examination and any necessary tests before we discuss treatment options,” Dr. Azadi said. “The goal is to educate each person and determine the best course of action so that a woman can go back to living life free of any kind of leakage.”

Read more about stress incontinence


Norton Women’s Care offers a wide range of treatment options, from lifestyle changes to medication, exercises and advanced minimally invasive pelvic reconstructive surgery, to get you back to enjoying life.

You don’t have to live with a pelvic floor disorder. Find a urogynecologist or call (502) 629-1234 and we’ll help you find the right specialist. Or, call our women’s health nurse navigator at (502) 899-6310.


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