OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains why some women experience urinary incontinence when they sneeze.
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Dr. Lisa: Today we’re answering your question; does it happen to other women too? And right now I'm with Linda and Maria who have these very personal but really common questions to ask about. Go ahead and we’re going to get started with you Linda. Linda: I'm 51. I never had any children, but when I sneeze or cough I leak and my underwear is getting wet and sometimes it has gotten so bad I actually had to ask my husband is there a wet spot on the back of my skirt. Dr. Lisa: And let me ask you, do you feel like you have an urge to pee right before you sneeze or just like you cough and a little bit comes out? Linda: Like that. Dr. Lisa: And how long has this been going on? Linda: Probably a couple of years. Dr. Lisa: And when did you go into menopause? Linda: I'm not in menopause yet. Dr. Lisa: You're not in menopause yet. Okay. So you're still having periods regularly? Linda: Yes, yes. Dr. Lisa: Any prior surgeries? Linda: Endometriosis but that was a while ago. Dr. Lisa: There we hit it right there. Sometimes that can actually implant on the bladder and cause things like urinary incontinence. Now there are different kind of incontinence there are stress urinary incontinence, which is what you describe when you say I have coughing or sneezing and then I have leaking urine then there is urge. That’s why I said, do you have urgency? Do feel like you can’t hold it and you have to run into the bathroom? That’s urging continence. Sometimes it can be mixed of both. And the only way we can tell is doing studies to find out. It really sounds pretty typical of stress urinary incontinence. It has a little non-typical history, but the things we do for that are things like Kegels and sometimes there are other medications for that. But again, just to tell you to do Kegels will be incorrect without having you do physical to see what the tissue looks like, to see maybe your estrogen is starting to decrease before your periods have actually stopped, to see if there’s any endometriosis that’s actually affecting the tissue around the bladder. And endometriosis is when lining of the uterus implants on other tissues. So there are lots to go on there. So very important to talk about that so we can correct it especially if it’s affecting your lifestyle.