Excess weight can cause urinary incontinence

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What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine (this can be light or heavy), the most common form being the “stress” variety, which affects up to 25% of women over the age of 40 and increases with age.

The most common and therefore known factors that contribute to onset are age and multiple child birth. Other less known, but no less important, factors are associated with excess weight. So to talk about this factor is of vital importance, because in Spain, it is estimated that approximately 45% of women are overweight. In this group, regardless of age, there is a higher prevalence and frequency of urinary incontinence. The condition affects quality of personal, professional and love life. How does being overweight contribute to the problem? Dr Sánchez de la Muela, a urologist from the Female Functional Urology Unit, UfoFem (, at Nuestra Señora del Rosario Hospital in Madrid tells us about the problem and how to cure it. “Being overweight causes overloading of the pelvic floor and results in the weakening of its muscles, which are responsible for supporting the bladder and urethra. If the woman who is overweight then sneezes, coughs or laughs, she will often be unable to control urination.”


“At UroFem, we have observed two main reasons: 1. Urinary incontinence used to be a condition that was assumed to be part and parcel of being a woman and it was never discussed because it was considered somewhat embarrassing. And this meant that most women did not go to see their doctor about it. In fact, even today, there are still many women who dare not talk about it, and this, of course, prevents diagnosis and treatment. 2. Most women are unaware that being overweight contributes to urinary incontinence.”


In the case of overweight women, proper nutrition and increased physical exercise to lose weight, coupled with other medical treatments, can help to control this common condition. Some of the urinary incontinence treatments available include:

  • Perineal rehabilitation, exercises for the perineal muscles.
  • Perineal biofeedback, recording of the activity of the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Laser-assisted periurethral and vaginal collagen regeneration, a quick and simple procedure performed on an outpatient basis in two sessions.
  • Surgical treatment, for the severest cases.

More information about Gynelase .CO2 laser for vaginal rejuvenation and stress urinary incontinence

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