If you’re like a lot of women who come to our office, you tend to avoid some great activities because you leak urine or need to stay close to a bathroom. There’s no need to limit your life. Most causes of urinary incontinence can be treated successfully.
You might have what we call stress urinary incontinence or SUI. When you cough, laugh, sneeze, lift something or bend over, you put pressure on you abdomen and urine leaks out of your bladder’s neck. This can be due to prior pregnancy or childbirth, prior surgery, or problems with muscle tissues around the bladder and urethra. If you have urge incontinence, that means your bladder muscle is overactive and contracts involuntarily. If you have sudden strong urges to urinate, you may not make it to the bathroom in time.
The risk factors for urge incontinence include aging, obstruction of urine flow, certain neurologic issues, poor emptying of the bladder, and a diet high in bladder irritants such as coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, and acidic fruit juices. You may also have what we call overflow urinary incontinence, which means your bladder doesn’t properly and causes dribbling and the need to urinate frequently.
If you look under patient education on our website, you’ll see a long list of conditions and diseases that can cause or contribute to incontinence. The list includes everything from vaginal yeast infections and the effects of medication to nervous system diseases. Prior pregnancies can play a major role, so can the loss of muscle strength and decreased estrogen levels that come with aging and menopause. Generally, poor overall health also impacts your urinary health and can cause incontinence.
The good news is there are a variety of treatment options for urinary incontinence. They range from changing fluid intake and diet, to pelvic floor muscle training, to medications, to surgical interventions.
If you have questions, we have answers. Don’t suffer in silence. Please make an appointment and come see us.