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Conditions We Treat: Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence happens when your bladder leaks urine during physical activity or exertion, such as sneezing or exercising. 

If stress incontinence causes you to feel embarrassed or limit your daily activities, there are treatments that can help.

Sling Surgery Restores A Patient to Active Life | Stephanie's Story

After suffering stress incontinence in silence for 15 years, patient Stephanie Richards sought surgery from Danielle Patterson, M.D., of the Women's Center for Pelvic Health, to restore bladder control and return to the active lifestyle she had always enjoyed.

Stress Urinary Incontinence: What You Need to Know

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  • Women are more likely than men to have stress urinary incontinence and often develop symptoms after vaginal childbirth.
  • Stress urinary incontinence occurs when pelvic floor muscles are weak and sudden abdominal pressure is placed on the bladder during physical movement.
  • Symptoms include leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, jumping, exercising and lifting heavy objects.
  • Stress urinary incontinence can occur with coexisting pelvic organ prolapse conditions, such as uterine and vaginal prolapse.
  • Treatments vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Women with moderate to advanced symptoms may opt for pelvic floor muscle training; a vaginal pessary, a support device inserted into the vagina; or minimally invasive surgery, such as a midurethral sling procedure.
  • Stress incontinence is unrelated to psychological stress.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins for treatment of stress urinary incontinence?

Women's Pelvic Health Team at Johns Hopkins

Our Physicians

Rely on the expertise of our physicians to help you manage stress urinary incontinence.

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Our Treatments

Our pelvic health specialists have the common goal of choosing the least invasive, most effective treatment options for patients. Nonsurgical options include:

  • Behavior and lifestyle changes
  • Injection therapy
  • Vaginal pessaries

When surgery is necessary, your physician will consult with you and recommend the best procedure for your unique symptoms.

Learn more about treatments for pelvic floor disorders at Johns Hopkins.

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Our Patient Care

Our experienced pelvic health specialists have successfully treated hundreds of women for all types of pelvic floor disorders, including stress urinary incontinence. We understand that stress urinary incontinence can be embarrassing. We’re here to help with advanced diagnostic tests, innovative treatments and coordinated care among specialties.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Our Locations

With convenient locations throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area, we make it easy for you to seek the care and treatment you need to manage your stress urinary incontinence.

View all of our locations.

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Maryland Patients



Traveling for Care?

Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.

Outside of Maryland (toll free)

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International Patients

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