Urine incontinent

Help! Im 39, no children & a year into treatment. Ac - taxol - mastectomy with diep reconstruction- radiotherapy & now kadcyla. Also on letrozole.
Im coping well considering.
This week ive had a really bad cough & have leaked urine when couging. Only a little but i am absolutely mortified. Could this be linked to my operation or medication or could it be completely unrelated?
Too embarrassed to mention to oncologist.
Any advice would be appreciated

Hello, I am no doctor but I do not have children and have had leakage like you describe that probably started around your age. It is very common and nothing to be ashamed of. At 59 I still only leak a little when coughing, sneezing or dancing after a drink!! I can’t say whether it has anything to do with the cancer but I doubt it. I think it is just natural muscle deterioration. The best way to help yourself, I believe, is pelvic floor exercises but they are horrible to do. You can always wear panty liners if you have a bad cough. But talk to your GP, they won’t bat an eyelid!


Hi. I’ve just read Mariella Frostrup’s Cracking The Menopause (which I really recommend to all women approaching 40 or over - it’s as well to know this stuff) and she points out that we all need to do Kegel or pelvic floor exercises. It’s like any other muscles, they get saggy and baggy if not used. It helps to make it into a habit : she says she does hers on the train!
NB laneycass is right, your GP won’t bat an eyelid. It happens to so many women, don’t worry.

Hi Luskentyre1

Thanks for posting.

It can be both worrying and embarrassing to experience symptoms such as leaking urine (stress incontinence). This can be linked to a number of things and can often happen on coughing if the muscles used to prevent urination are weakened.

Letrozole can cause some genitourinary symptoms and for some people this may affect the bladder, so it’s possible that this may be the cause.

If the symptoms persist, it would be a good idea to report this to someone to ask for further advice on whether this is connected to your treatment and what can be done to help.

It can sometimes be easier to report symptoms which are embarrassing to someone you feel most comfortable with. Rather than your oncologist, this may be your breast care nurse or your GP as @laneycass suggests.

You’re welcome to call our helpline to talk this through first or ask any further questions if you like. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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