Aging. Childbirth. Menopause. Each of these can contribute to a problem that most women do not want to talk about — urinary incontinence.
While urinary leakage is common among women, with an estimated 13 million women dealing with some form of incontinence, it is not considered normal. And, you don’t have to live with it. Today, there are more treatment options for incontinence than ever before, and most cases can be controlled, if not cured.
Our goal is to help you overcome incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic floor disorders, and more so you can get back to life as usual.
Types of incontinence
There are three types of incontinence (leaking of urine):
- Stress incontinence results when certain activities, such as sneezing, laughing or exercise, lead to increased pressure on the bladder and result in a small amount of leakage.
- Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is a loss of bladder control following an overwhelming urge to urinate. Symptoms may also include urinary frequency and getting up often at night to urinate.
- Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder will not empty completely, which causes an overflow, frequency and leakage of urine.
Causes of incontinence and pelvic disorders
Weakness or atrophy in the pelvic floor muscles or structural defects of the pelvic organs can cause or contribute to incontinence and prolapse. Life experiences, such as childbirth, infertility treatment, menopause, and other health conditions, such as chronic constipation and straining, chronic coughing, obesity and heavy lifting, can cause or contribute to these issues. In addition, certain disease treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can also contribute to pelvic floor disorders.
We provide surgical and non-surgical approaches to the management of urinary incontinence, voiding difficulties, uterine and vaginal prolapse, genitourinary fistulas and mesh related complications.
Treatment options at Lakewood
After we meet with you and obtain a complete medical history, we’ll develop your individualized treatment plan, which may include a combination of treatments based on your unique needs.
Contact us if you have any questions about urogynecology.
If you have complicated symptoms, your provider may recommend urodynamic testing, which is a diagnostic study of the function of the lower urinary tract (the bladder and urethra). The test involves measurements of urine pressure and flow rate to evaluate how the bladder carries out its functions. The results can provide insight into why other treatments have failed and/or what is causing the incontinence. Testing is completed on an outpatient basis.
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.
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.
This is an option for persistent and severe stress incontinence that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment.
Incontinence therapy is an effective treatment option that uses manual therapy techniques, education, exercise instruction, bladder training and scheduling, electrical stimulation and biofeedback to improve these symptoms.
Incontinence therapy may eliminate the need for surgery and have you experiencing results sooner than you think.
Physical therapy treatments include:
- Lifestyle modification – changing dietary and hydration habits, and incorporating daily activity, can help
decrease urinary incontinence issues.
- Therapeutic exercise can help life and strengthen pelvic floor muscles so the bladder is better supported and is better able to hold urine. These types of exercise can be very effective in as little as three to four weeks.
- Physiological quieting consists of easy relaxation exercises that teach the body to quiet the strong, frequent urges present during some forms of incontinence. This allows the patient to develop and maintain an appropriate toileting schedule.