Urinary incontinence is the uncontrolled leakage of urine from the bladder. There are three types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence is the uncontrolled leaking of urine that occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, or when performing any other type of straining motion.
- Urge incontinence is due to a bladder that is overactive and causes the frequent need to urinate and loss of urine due to a sudden urge.
- Mixed incontinence is a combination of both.
What You Should Know About Urinary Incontinence
What Causes Bladder Leakage?
Urine loss can occur at any age under challenging conditions; however, frequent urine loss with normal activities occurs due to a change in anatomy. Physicians refer to this as a “fallen bladder,” which can occur due to child birth or constant straining or lifting. Hormone changes may also weaken the bladder and support of the urethra. Kegel exercises can be done to gradually increase the strength of the support muscles. However, for most patients, Kegel exercises have a limited benefit if done without guidance.
Surgical procedures to support the urethra are done on an outpatient basis with minimal discomfort and recovery. Current surgical procedures for bladder leakage are very different from procedures performed even 10 years ago.
- Vaginal child birth
- Heavy lifting or straining
- Weight gain
- Chronic coughing
What is Urge Incontinence?
Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder fails to relax to allow more urine to fill, and this stimulates the need to urinate. Patients with this disorder may urinate every 15-20 minutes. Treatment requires medication and bladder training drills. It is important to rule out irritation from foods, medications, or bladder stones.
Gain Control Over Bladder Leaks
There are treatment options for urinary incontinence. As such, those who are experiencing leaks no longer have to suffer or remain embarrassed about their condition. Certain treatment options may simply require natural and personal changes at home, while others will call for professional medical care. The following treatment options for urinary incontinence are available at Woodlands OBGYN:
- Lifestyle changes and Diet changes, including decreasing fluids and caffeine intake. Weight loss will also help.
- Kegel exercises
- Medications are used mainly for the treatment of urge incontinence.
- Intone– a non-surgical home treatment device for incontinence
- Surgical treatment options can be used to correct stress incontinence, depending on the severity and other symptoms.
- Individualized Plans – After out office provides a complete evaluation of problems with urinary incontinence, we then help you determine which treatment option is best for your situation. Though we offer the full range of incontinence treatments, options are always tailored to the wishes and needs of each patient.
If you are experiencing frequent urination or leakage of any kind, discuss it with your Woodlands OBGYN Associates doctor. We can help!
Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.