By: Krista Wagner, OTR/L

Question: Why am I leaking urine when I cough or sneeze?

Answer: Stress incontinence (often referred to as “activity-related” incontinence) is an involuntary loss of urine with physical exertion such as coughing or sneezing, laughing, lifting, pushing or pulling, and jumping. Stress incontinence occurs when your bladder is pushed on by increased abdominal pressure that overpowers the pelvic muscles holding urine in the bladder. Urinary incontinence affects 44-55% of females over the age of 65. Though common, stress incontinence is not a normal part of the aging process.

Rainy Lake Medical’s Therapy and Wellness Center offers an incontinence program that uses a series of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.  Strengthening the pelvic floor helps keep the bladder, uterus and bowel supported and improves control of the release of urine and stool. This program is completed with an occupational therapist in a private setting where the patient remains fully dressed.

If incontinence is impacting your daily activities or routines, talk to your primary care provider about a referral to occupational therapy for a no-cost consultation to determine if the incontinence program is right for you. For more information on the incontinence program or therapy services, contact Rainy Lake Medical Center’s Therapy and Wellness Center at 218.283.5420.