Definition of Female Urinary Incontinence
Urinary Incontinence is when the body involuntarily leaks urine. This condition occurs more often in women than in men, and is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Seeing a doctor can quickly and easily alleviate your symptoms.
Here are a few symptoms you may be experiencing:
- Involuntary urine leaks during physical activity such as exercising or laughing.
- A sudden need to urinate, even shortly after last urination.
There are four main types of incontinence. The specific type the patient is experiencing will determine which treatment will be recommended:
- Stress incontinence – leaks caused by pressure on the bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising.
- Urge incontinence – having sudden, intense urges to urinate followed by involuntary loss of urine.
- Overflow incontinence – frequent and constant dribbling of urine when the bladder doesn’t empty completely.
- Functional incontinence – incontinence occurring due to physical or mental impairment.
- Mixed incontinence – multiple types of urinary incontinence experienced.
Below are potential factors we look at to determine the type of incontinence the patient may have:
- Hormone changes and weight gain during and after pregnancy which can affect the pelvic floor muscles, leading to stress incontinence.
- Pelvic floor – vaginal childbirth can weaken or damage the muscles that control the bladder, stretching the pelvic floor, causing stress incontinence.
- Aging – which can decrease the bladder’s capacity to store urine.
- Estrogen deficiencies after menopause can cause incontinence. Estrogen keeps the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. Low levels can deteriorate healthy tissue.
- Past Hysterectomy which can damage the pelvic floor muscles and affect bladder control.
- Urinary tract obstruction – including tumors and stones, which can block the flow of urine causing overflow incontinence.
- Neurological disorders – multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain tumor, and spinal injury can affect nerve signals to the bladder, causing urinary incontinence.
Once we determine the exact cause, we can proceed with one or more of the following treatments:
- Macroplastique – an injectable treatment for urinary incontinence, often giving patients quick and noticeable improvement.
- Urethral Sling Surgery – a procedure used to lift the urethra back into normal position, preventing leakage.
- Pelvic Physical Therapy – including Kegels, which are great for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, helping control the flow of urine. The great thing about Kegels is that they can be done anywhere, anytime, and very easily.
- Medication – prescribed to relax the bladder muscle when behavioral methods have been unsuccessful. Relaxing the bladder keeps it from involuntarily contracting, helping to eliminate leaks.
- Botox – relaxes bladder muscles that contract too often, eliminating the constant urge to go.
- Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation – sends electrical impulses to stimulate the sacral plexus, strengthening the muscles that control the bladder.
- Interstim – using a small, surgically implanted device, the sacral plexus is stimulated, strengthening the muscles that control the bladder.
All of the methods above are minimally invasive and have one goal in mind, and that goal is helping you gain control of your bladder. Urinary incontinence in women is common, and is a very fixable problem. Let our team of experts help you get back to normal, quickly and safely.