What is Stress Urinary Incontinence Anyway?

Blogger Pam Lutrell of Over50Feeling40 interviews Urogynecologist, Dr. Toni Harris, about the mechanics of stress urinary incontinence and why we have bladder leaks.

You’ve probably heard people say they have to go to the bathroom “every five minutes” or others lament that they’ve “got to go when they’ve got to go”. Their over active bladders (OAB) simply never seem to take a break. However, for many women, the leak comes without warning. They experience no sudden urge and no “I’m gonna burst” sensation. Instead, they leak when they pick up heavy objects, go on a run, or dance to Taylor Swifts “Shake it Off” (Let’s be honest, it’s just too catchy not to).

These “oops moments” are a tell-tale sign of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Unlike over active bladder, which sends women sprinting to the bathroom with sudden urges to urinate, SUI is caused by unexpected stress events, such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing.

In a 7-part series discussing incontinence, fashion blogger and stress urinary incontinence sufferer, Pam Lutrell candidly talks with Dr. Toni Harris about all of those bladder leakage questions you have, but have been hoping somebody else would ask.

In this interview, Pam asks Dr. Toni to clarify what stress urinary incontinence is and what happens during a ‘stress event’.


In this animation, you can see the abdominal pressure put on the bladder when a woman sneezes. Pelvic floor muscles, weakened perhaps by childbirth or lack of estrogen during and after menopause, cannot withstand the pressure placed on the bladder. As a result of a sneeze or cough, some urine escapes, causing women to experience embarrassing bladder leakage. Women can seek treatment with pads that soak up the urine, which can be both uncomfortable and odorous, or they can prevent bladder leakage with Finess. As the animation indicates, the soft foam patch is applied over the urethral opening with a specially formulated hydrogel adhesive. Once it is in place, the adhesive gently seals to block leaks until you remove it.


Discreet, comfortable and compact, Finess is available in a 6 or 36-pack. With Finess, women are able to enjoy their daily activities without the stress of stress urinary incontinence.

Want to Read More?

The Stresses Your Bladder Faces With Stress Urinary Incontinence – In this article you’ll find part one of our seven part series with lifestyle blogger, Pam Lutrell & Urogynecologist, Dr. Toni Harris.