Urinary incontinence (UI) – the loss of bladder control – is a common and often distressing problem. UI can range from occasionally leaking urine when you sneeze or cough, to having sudden, impulsive episodes of strong urinary urgency, and frequent wetting. The urgency could be so strong that you don’t get to the bathroom in time.
Urinary incontinence affects millions of people, however, it isn’t a normal part of aging, or in women, a consequence of childbirth or menopause. Rather, it is a medical condition with various possible causes, some are relatively simple and others can be more complex.
If you’re having problems with bladder control that affects your everyday activities, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to find out how to treat this serious problem. In many cases, urinary incontinence can be stopped and treated. Even if the condition can’t be completely eliminated, there are various procedures and new products that can help with managing UI and can ease your discomfort.
Treatment Options for Female Urinary Incontinence
Our doctors tailor treatments for Urinary Incontinence to the type of UI that is diagnosed.
Treatments options include:
- Behavioral therapies to help people regain control of their bladder problems. Therapies include bladder retraining and pelvic muscle rehabilitation. If done regularly, these exercises of the pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, UI. Medication could include antimuscarinic agents to treat urge incontinence and estrogen to help control urge incontinence in postmenopausal women.
- Dietary modifications could also be recommended depending on the severity of the condition, including elimination of caffeine and alcohol.
- Surgery is another option that could include vaginal sling procedures to support the urethra and bladder and treat stress incontinence; implantation of bulking agents to support the bladder for stress incontinence; and the implantation of InterStim, a pacemaker-like device to control the bladder for urge incontinence.
You may be surprised to learn how widespread this rarely discussed condition actually is.
Consider the following statistics:
- Between the ages of 18 and 44, approximately 24% of women experience incontinence.¹
- For women over age 60, approximately 23% deal with incontinence, and the problem is more common in women than men.²
- Fully half of nursing home residents have urinary incontinence.³
1. Palmer MH, Fitzgerald S, Berry SJ, Hart. Urinary incontinence in working women: an exploratory study. Women Health. 1999 v. 29(3)p. 67-82.
2. Hampel C, Wienhold D, Benken N, Eggersmann C, Thuroff JW. Definition of overactive bladder and epidemiology of urinary incontinence. Urology 1997 v. 50 (suppl. 6A) p. 4-14.
3. Overview: Urinary Incontinence in Adults, Clinical Practice Guideline Update. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD. March 1996. http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uiovervw.htm
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At MAUA we are experts on the subject of Female Urinary Incontinence diagnosis and treatment. Please contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about our various treatment options and schedule a consultation.