Stress Urinary Incontinence

Learn about the top 3 nonsurgical treatments.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Learn about the top 3 nonsurgical treatments.


Stress Urinary Incontinence: something most of us share

Stress urinary incontinence affects 50-75% of all women and occurs when you accidentally leak urine during.  Generally, this occurs during laughing, sneezing, lifting a heavy object or otherwise potentially putting stress on the bladder. However, this is quite different from general incontinence and other forms. It only happens unintentionally when there is pressure on the bladder and surrounding areas that support urine flow.

Stress urinary incontinence: is it stressing you out?

Stress urinary incontinence is a real worry for women who have gone through most of the female life milestones. In fact, vaginal childbirths are a big factor. Also, the menopausal period plays a part. Additionally, certain medical conditions, lifestyle habits and medical procedures also lend themselves to having this problem.

You’re not alone. Read on to learn what you can do.


Stress urinary incontinence is caused when the muscle and tissues of the bladder and pelvic floor are weakened. These muscles are valve-like structures that are designed to stay closed as the bladder fills with urine. Therefore, they are what maintain normal bladder control or what helps you not leak urine when exerting yourself. Over time, and with certain life events, these muscles weaken and can cause SUI. Lifestyle and medical conditions are main contributors.

Lifestyle factors

  • Drinking alcohol
  • High caffeine consumption
  • Eating chocolate
  • Use of artificial sweeteners
  • Drinking carbonated sodas
  • Smoking tobacco

Medical and health factors

  • Suffering from obesity
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Use of medications that increase urine production, such as diuretics
  • Diagnosis of diabetes
  • Past or recent nerve damage to pelvic area
What are some of the symptoms?

Occasional, light urinary incontinence is normal for some people after a certain age. When it becomes a routine problem affecting your daily life: this is the crossover point into stress urinary incontinence.  There are 7 common symptoms. If reading this list of seemingly regular activities makes you nervous, you may need to see a doctor. 


You have regular urine leakage during:

  1. Coughing
  2. Laughing
  3. Exercising
  4. Sexual intercourse
  5. Getting out of a car
  6. Heavy lifting
  7. Standing up
Treatment options

Dr. Pettigrew can perform a pelvic exam and full examination to confirm your stress urinary incontinence. From there you’ll have many effective options.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Reduce caffeine, alcohol and sodas
  • Try hard to kick smoking or at least smoke less
  • Cut back on artificial sweeteners and chocolate
  • Lose weight if you suffer from obesity. This will alleviate pressure placed on the bladder and pelvic area.

Nonsurgical Interventions:  

diVa® Vaginal Laser Therapy is an exciting nonsurgical procedure used to effectively treat stress urinary incontinence. diVa® gives women suffering from stress urinary incontinence renewed hope. Stress urinary incontinence puts a major halt on life. But with diVa® it can be full speed ahead again. diVa® uses two Hybrid Fractional Lasers to resurface and tone the vaginal walls. Through vaginal rejuvenation the pelvic structure is strengthened which helps control mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence. diVa® is very easy to fit into your busy lifestyle. It only takes a few minutes and is done here in the office. There is no downtime and minimal discomfort. Meet the patient friendly diVa® here.


Don’t let stress urinary incontinence rob your love of life. It’s common but treatable.  Call us at (912) 355-7766 today to explore your options.