How severe are your stress incontinence symptoms?
If you’ve researched the definition of incontinence and the different types, you’ve probably determined you have SUI (including mixed incontinence), which is the most common type of incontinence. SUI usually develops when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened or stretched, so treatment focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor. SUI symptoms are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. Regardless of the severity, you should consider treatment together with a healthcare professional. Early intervention increases the success of treatment.
Mild. You experience occasional light leakage with vigorous exercise, coughing, laughing, or sneezing. It’s usually a surprise when it happens, but you may wear an absorbent pad “just in case.”
Moderate. Your bladder leakage ranges from a few times a week to every day. You most likely wear an absorbent pad.
Severe. You leak multiple times per day, sometimes from simple movements, such as standing up, walking, or bending over. You probably use multiple pads per day. In addition to incontinence, you may have notable pelvic organ prolapse (i.e., when pelvic organs drop into or below the vagina).