Symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence

25-45% of adult women report occasional leakage. Don’t suffer in silence.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Image of how the bladder works

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) occurs when urine leaks during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing or any movement that puts pressure (stress) on the bladder.3


How does SUI affect the bladder? 14

  • Bladder leakage in SUI is due to the weakening of the pelvic muscles and tissue that normally support the bladder.
  • In a standard functioning bladder, the muscles in your urethra stay closed to prevent urine from escaping the bladder until you have reached the bathroom.
  • With SUI, however, any force that is exerted on the bladder through physical movement such as running, sneezing or laughing, may cause your bladder to leak since weakened pelvic muscles are no longer staying closed.

Symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence

  • Not all women will experience SUI in the same way. Some women will only leak when they exercise vigorously or when they have a full bladder.
  • Other women, however, may experience bladder leakage from daily living activities, such as walking or sneezing.
  • While the amount of urine leakage may differ, at some point SUI may interfere with your activities, intrude on your social life, or be just plain inconvenient and embarrassing.5513

Symptom Checker

Do you show symptoms that could identify stress urinary incontinence? Read the bullets below and ask yourself if you leak during any of the activities. If you say yes to one or more, you may have symptoms of stress incontinence and should consult with your doctor. 

Do you leak urine during the following activities?

  • Laughing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Physical Activity
  • During Intercourse

Remember, although these signs and symptoms can alert you to a problem, they are not unique to stress incontinence, so it is important to consult a doctor for the correct diagnosis.