Urinary Incontinence Treatments
Urinary incontinence (UI) affects millions of women each year. Some women may urinate a little when they’re laughing or exercising. Some may feel an increased urge to urinate right before losing a large amount of urine. Many women feel like urinary incontinence is a natural part of the aging process, or even something they have to be ashamed of. At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, we know that neither are true.
Causes and Types of Urinary Incontinence
Causes of urinary incontinence vary from woman to woman, but childbirth, trauma, and hormone changes due to aging can all be linked to UI. The different types of urinary incontinence include:
- Stress incontinence – Coughing, laughing, sneezing or other movements that cause you to leak urine.
- Urge incontinence – Commonly caused by inappropriate bladder contractions, urge incontinence occurs when you lose urine for no apparent reason after feeling the need to urinate.
- Overactive bladder – Occurs when abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong time. Symptoms include frequent urination during the day and night, urinary urgency, or leakage or gushing of urine that follows a sudden, strong urge.
- Functional incontinence – A result of physical or medical conditions that might hinder the signals that your body needs to urinate, e.g. dementia or arthritis.
- Overflow – Rare in women, but this type occurs when the bladder doesn’t empty properly, causing overflow.
- Mixed incontinence – Two or more types of incontinence together, typically stress and urge.
- Transient incontinence – Urine leakage for a short time, e.g. during a bladder infection, pregnancy or post-pregnancy.
Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence
Thankfully, there are a variety of treatment options for women who suffer from UI, many without the need of surgery. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the treatment that’s best for you. He or she can provide an effective treatment option. Successful treatment options for UI include simple changes to your diet and fitness routine, medications, or minimally-invasive surgery.
Incontinence can be treated in several ways, depending on the exact nature of the incontinence and its severity. Effective treatments can include:
- Changes to your diet and fitness routine
- Physical therapy
- Minimally-invasive surgical procedures
Our physicians have a high degree of expertise in diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence. We can perform specialized testing called urodynamics, to determine the cause of your bladder leakage. Sometimes a simple medication can resolve the problem. Other times a minimally invasive sling procedure is required, which takes only 30-45 minutes.
Urinary incontinence is very common in women and is also very treatable at all ages. If you’re concerned about UI, don’t hesitate to call us at 770.720.7733 or request an appointment online at one of our convenient locations in Canton or Woodstock.