Let's Talk: Is it Normal to Pee When I Laugh?

Is it normal to leak urine when you sneeze, laugh or cough? It happens to the best of us on occasion – but if it’s happening to you and it bothers you, it’s time to get a help! 

Why does it happen?

The medical term for leaking urine when you sneeze, laugh, or cough is stress urinary incontinence, which is a type of pelvic floor dysfunction. When you cough unexpectedly, burst into laughter or even hit that sprint on the treadmill, and small amount of urine leaks out, this is stress urinary incontinence. Many women deal with stress urinary incontinence and dismiss it as just the aftermath of having a baby or aging – but that isn’t always the case.

“Stress urinary incontinence is common, but I wouldn’t call it normal,. Many women do not have stress urinary incontinence despite having babies and/or aging” says Aparna Shah, MD, urogynecologist at The Christ Hospital. “It’s not something that anyone should feel they have to live with.” 

Women's health experts from The Christ Hospital stand in front of a brick wall wearing white lab coats for Let's Talk series. 

When should you get help?

The short answer: if it’s bothering you, seek some professional help. There are many at-home exercises you can do at home to strengthen your pelvic floor, including Kegels. However, it’s best to see a medical professional for an evaluation and to learn about all of the available treatment options.

“For a lot of women, an important piece of treatment is coming in to be seen by a healthcare provider,” says Dr. Shah. “It’s really helpful to educate women on how common these disorders so that they do not feel alone, and to provide them with a range of treatment options that can be tailored to their individual lifestyle and needs."

If you are experiencing stress urinary incontinence symptoms, Dr. Shah encourages you to make an appointment with your primary care physician, OBGYN or urogynecologist to get educated on surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

In fact, there is specialized help right here in the TriState area! The Christ Hospital Pelvic Floor Center is a dedicated facility committing to empowering women to take control of their pelvic floor disorders. Our urogynecologists and pelvic floor physical therapists will help create a treatment plan that is specific to your body’s needs. Before you know it, peeing a little when you laugh or go for a run will be a distant memory. 

Are you experiencing stress urinary incontinence symptoms? Our specialized team of urogynecologists are here to help. Schedule an appointment online with one of our women’s health urogynecology specialist today. 

Aparna Shah, MD, standing on front of a brick wall

​Dr. Shah is board-certified and specializes in female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Dr. Shah’s expertise is minimally invasive and robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgical treatments, as well as non-surgical treatments for these conditions. Dr. Shah completed a three-year fellowship training program in urogynecology and now specializes exclusively in helping female urogynecology patients at The Christ Hospital. Dr. Shah has been named a Top Doctor by Cincy  and Cincinnati Magazine  multiple times.

Let's Talk: Is it Normal to Pee When I Laugh? Peeing when you laugh, cough or sneeze can happen to the best of us on occasion, but if it's happening frequently, Aparna Shah, MD, says it's probably time to talk to your doctor.
Is it normal to leak urine when you sneeze, laugh or cough? It happens to the best of us on occasion – but if it’s happening to you and it bothers you, it’s time to get a help! 

Why does it happen?

The medical term for leaking urine when you sneeze, laugh, or cough is stress urinary incontinence, which is a type of pelvic floor dysfunction. When you cough unexpectedly, burst into laughter or even hit that sprint on the treadmill, and small amount of urine leaks out, this is stress urinary incontinence. Many women deal with stress urinary incontinence and dismiss it as just the aftermath of having a baby or aging – but that isn’t always the case.

“Stress urinary incontinence is common, but I wouldn’t call it normal,. Many women do not have stress urinary incontinence despite having babies and/or aging” says Aparna Shah, MD, urogynecologist at The Christ Hospital. “It’s not something that anyone should feel they have to live with.” 

Women's health experts from The Christ Hospital stand in front of a brick wall wearing white lab coats for Let's Talk series. 

When should you get help?

The short answer: if it’s bothering you, seek some professional help. There are many at-home exercises you can do at home to strengthen your pelvic floor, including Kegels. However, it’s best to see a medical professional for an evaluation and to learn about all of the available treatment options.

“For a lot of women, an important piece of treatment is coming in to be seen by a healthcare provider,” says Dr. Shah. “It’s really helpful to educate women on how common these disorders so that they do not feel alone, and to provide them with a range of treatment options that can be tailored to their individual lifestyle and needs."

If you are experiencing stress urinary incontinence symptoms, Dr. Shah encourages you to make an appointment with your primary care physician, OBGYN or urogynecologist to get educated on surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

In fact, there is specialized help right here in the TriState area! The Christ Hospital Pelvic Floor Center is a dedicated facility committing to empowering women to take control of their pelvic floor disorders. Our urogynecologists and pelvic floor physical therapists will help create a treatment plan that is specific to your body’s needs. Before you know it, peeing a little when you laugh or go for a run will be a distant memory. 

Are you experiencing stress urinary incontinence symptoms? Our specialized team of urogynecologists are here to help. Schedule an appointment online with one of our women’s health urogynecology specialist today. 

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The Christ Hosptial