What is Urinary Incontinence? Urinary incontinence is the inability to stop urine leakage. If you have trouble controlling your bladder, you are not alone. Incontinence affects millions of people of all ages. Incontinence can be so embarrassing that it interferes with living a normal, full life. There are different types of incontinence that effect women and sometimes a combination of two or more.
- Urge / Overactive Bladder – Women with this type of incontinence often cannot get to the bathroom fast enough; get up frequently in the middle of the night to urinate; go to the bathroom at least every two hours; wet the bed.
- Stress Incontinence – Women with this type of incontinence may leak urine when they sneeze, cough, or laugh; go to the bathrooms more frequently to avoid accidents; avoid exercise; sleep through the night, but leak urine upon getting up from bed in the morning; sometimes leak urine when they get up from a chair.
- Overflow Incontinence – Women with this type of incontinence get up frequently in the night to urinate; take a long time to urinate and have a weak, dribbling stream with no force; urinate small amounts and not feel completely empty afterwards; feel the urge to urinate, but sometimes can’t.
What can be done? Incontinence is not something you have to suffer from. Incontinence can be controlled, and in many cases, even cured. There are a variety of ways that your health care provider can help alleviate your incontinence issues. An office evaluation can establish a unique plan of care based on your health history. Most treatments are covered by your insurance provider and Medicare.
- Behavior Modification – Sometimes controlling your incontinence issues may be as simple as monitoring the amount and type of liquid you intake throughout the day. Timed voiding and diet modifications can be helpful as well.
- Medication – There are a number of prescription drugs that can control bladder muscle contractions. Estrogen therapy may be helpful as well.
- Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation – Pelvic Muscle Rehabilitation is a therapy developed to provide relief from stress and urge incontinence, urgency, and chronic pelvic pain. The treatment is noninvasive and painless with up to an 80% success rate. There are no significant side effects. This may be done in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
- Surgical Options – Surgery is an option for patients who have not had complete success with medication or pelvic floor exercise. The goal of surgery is to support the bladder neck in the correct position so it can work properly. The procedure your doctor chooses depends on the specific type, severity, and location of your problem, as well as your overall condition.
Self Assessment. Talk to your Talk to your health care professional to experience relief from these symptoms of incontinence.
- Do you urinate more than 8 times per day?
- Do you wake up more than 2 times per night to urinate?
- Do you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, or exercise?
- Do you experience pressure and loss of urine before making it to the bathroom?
- Have you taken medications and found that your symptoms have not improved?
- Have you been tested for a urinary tract infection, found to be negative, and still experience symptoms of frequency and urgency?
- Have you had a procedure for bladder stress incontinence and now feel symptoms of frequency or urgency?