If you’re avoiding activities you love, because you’re afraid you might lose control of your bladder, it’s likely you suffer from a common condition called urinary incontinence. No, you’re not just “getting old” and no, surgery isn’t the only solution.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. There are two main types:
- Stress incontinence occurs during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise.
- Urge incontinence involves a strong sudden urge followed by instant bladder contraction and involuntary loss of urine.
- Do you usually have a strong sense of urgency to urinate?
- Do you have difficulty starting your urine stream?
- Have you been treated for three or more urinary infections?
- Do you lose urine while coughing, laughing, sneezing, lifting or running?
- Does the loss of urine affect your quality of life?
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, talk to your medical provider about options.
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Bladder taping is a more recent procedure for urinary stress incontinence. This procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia. Small incisions are made in the vagina and the permanent tape is introduced via the vagina to sit under the urethra.
Urodynamic testing is an advanced tool to evaluate problems women may have with the emptying of their bladder. Urodynamic testing is available at Lakewood Health System Staples clinic after an initial consultation with your healthcare provider. The test is a simple, 30-minute procedure that uses fiber optic capabilities to measure pressure generated by the bladder. Specialized computer software translates the information to provide valuable data on bladder function to help determine the best possible recommendation for treatment.
Biofeedback involves measuring a patient’s muscle tension and contraction. Special sensors detect muscle activity and the information is displayed in graph form on a computer screen. This allows the patient to perform exercises and receive feedback on the activity, helping her gain awareness and conscious control.