Weakening of the sphincter pelvic muscles is what causes stress incontinence. The weakening can be the result of many different factors.
The sphincter muscle is located around the urethra. People squeeze this muscle to prevent urinating or leaking. When this muscle becomes weak, it can no longer hold urine in when pressure is put on the abdomen by coughing, sneezing or physical activity.
These are some of the causes of weakened sphincter muscle and stress incontinence:
• Injury to the urethra area
• Medications that weaken the muscle
• Surgery on the prostate or pelvis
Women have a higher risk of developing the condition. Other risk factors that may contribute to stress incontinence include the following:
• Childbirth, especially in women with more than one child
• Chronic bronchitis or asthma that causes prolonged coughing