Urinary Incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, is a condition that affects greater than 50% of women at some point in their lifetime.
There are many risk factors for incontinence that include but are not limited to heavy lifting, multiple deliveries, neurologic disorders, and infectious causes.
The three most come types of urinary incontinence are
Stress Urinary Incontinence which occurs secondary to a weak bladder neck. In stress incontinence, many women lose urine when coughing, laughing, or sneezing.
Urge Urinary Incontinence which often presents with a sudden urge to urinate with difficulty getting to the restroom on time.
Mixed Incontinence refers to a type of incontinence where women have symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
Diagnosis is based on a thorough evaluation of a patient’s history as well as a physical examination. There are many additional exams that can be performed in our clinic to assess a patient’s bladder function as well as pelvic muscle strength.
Treatment options vary depending on the patient and type of incontinence:
Behavioral Therapy: This involves controlling fluid intake, timed voiding and further bladder control.
Physical Therapy: Many individuals may benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy which include but are not limited to Kegel exercises.
Pessaries: Pessaries are devices placed inside the vagina that help support the bladder and pelvic floor muscles and often times are found to be very successful in managing urinary incontinence.
Medications: Medications are available that work on the bladder, treat infections, and help restore the vaginal tissue. There are also medications that can be injected into the bladder to help with incontinence.
Surgery: There are many surgical options available to some patients to restore the normal anatomy of the pelvis and aid in the symptoms of urinary incontinence. These options include but are not limited to bladder slings. These procedures are mostly outpatient surgeries.