Leaking urine when you laugh is not funny. It is both embarrassing and worrisome. It can lead to isolation for fear of urinating in public. Known as stress incontinence, it is the most common type of incontinence, and it usually affects women more than men. I pee when I laugh: is this normal? Let’s find out.
Reasons for Stress Incontinence
You might call these reasons risk factors since they all contribute to pressure on the bladder and having stress incontinence.
Physical changes to our body’s as we get older lead to our tissue health decreasing especially due to menopause and the drop in estrogen. This also explains why women are more susceptible to stress incontinence than men. Menopause and less estrogen particularly affects the tissue that supports the bladder.
In addition, the muscles that support your urinary tract, known as the pelvic floor, also become weak.
Being pregnant puts a lot of stress on your bladder as the baby continues to grow.
Carrying around too many pounds also puts extreme pressure on your bladder.
Other risk factors include having diabetes, having a hysterectomy, or a uterine prolapse. All these risk factors are normal consequences, but it is important to understand stress incontinence can be treated, and you shouldn’t put it off as a normal part of life.
Symptoms of Stress Incontinence
Chronic coughing and smoking leads to stress incontinence. Anything we do that puts pressure on our bladder can cause a leak. This includes simple things like laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting something heavy, or doing exercises.
With moderate to severe stress incontinence you can leak almost a tablespoon of urine doing other simple activities like standing up, bending over, or even having sexual intercourse.
There Are Solutions
Just because stress incontinence is part of your life right now doesn’t mean you must live with it.
- Take action and lose some weight if you are obese or overweight.
- Begin doing Kegel exercises to tighten the muscles in your pelvic area. Here are some step-by-step instructions.
- Talk with your OBGYN at Capital Women’s Care about several options or non-invasive procedures which can relieve the symptoms.