Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women, Animation

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Urine is produced in the kidneys and stored in urinary bladder. Urination is the process of emptying the bladder through the urethra that connects the urinary bladder to the external urethral orifice. There are two sphincters, or valves, that keep the urethra closed to prevent leak: internal urethral sphincter located at the neck of the bladder, and external urethral sphincter located right above the external urethral orifice and is supported by the pelvic floor muscles. When the bladder is full, stretch receptors in the wall of the bladder send a signal to the spinal cord and the brain. At times when it’s not appropriate to urinate, the brain sends back an inhibitory signal to keep the sphincters closed and prevent voiding. When you wish to urinate, this inhibition is removed, the spinal cord instructs the muscle of the bladder — the detrusor muscle – to contract and the sphincters to open to let the urine out.
In stress incontinence, small amount of urine leaks when the person is sneezing, coughing, laughing or having any activity that creates abdominal pressure on the bladder. This usually occurs because the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and can no longer support the sphincters. In women, this typically happens as a result of pregnancy, childbirth during which these muscles are overstretched. In most cases, this condition can be treated with exercises that strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

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