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Weight loss and bladder leakage

Urinary incontinence affects millions of women.  It can affect a woman's quality of life and can prevent her from doing the things she enjoys.  Obesity is another major health crisis with one third of people now considered obese.  Weight loss has been known to help a variety of medical problems including improving blood pressure, decreasing the risk of stroke, diabetes and even cancer. 

Research has shown that losing weight can help a woman with bladder control problems too.  A recent review of the literature shows that losing weight can help reduce stress incontinence (leakage with coughing, sneezing and laughing) by 15%-18% and all types of incontinence by 12% to 17% up to 3 years after starting a weight loss program.  Women undergoing bariatric surgery could see a reduction in stress incontinence symptoms upto 60%.

Women interested in improving their urinary incontinence should consider weight loss management as a part of their overall treatment plan.  


Yazdany et al. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery 2020;26:16-29

Dionysios Veronikis, MD Dionysios Veronikis, MD

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