Stress Urinary Incontinence--Part II of V

Sonya Lytwynec, RegN, BScN
Nurse Clinician, Southwestern Ontario Regional Geriatric Program: Continence Outreach

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is one of five types of incontinence.1 The assessment and therapeutic interventions associated with stress incontinence will be reviewed in this second article of a five-part series on Urinary Incontinence.

SUI is defined as urine loss coincident with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure in the absence of a detrusor muscle contraction or an over-distended bladder.2 SUI is a term used in reference to symptoms, physical findings or conditions. Coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, or bending over along with simultaneous urine loss often indicates SUI. However, in complex or unresolved cases, urodynamic testing may be beneficial to differentiate between SUI and other types such as urge incontinence.

Prevalence studies report variable results according to definition and design. Subjective reports of SUI in community-dwelling elderly women (65 years of age or older) ranged between 12% and 17%, while urodynamic studies at a urological clinic estimated prevalence rates of SUI at 16% for females and 2% for males.3

SUI in males is commonly the result of intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD) post prostatectomy.