Urinary Incontinence

Loss of bladder control (even a little leakage) isn’t normal and it isn’t an inevitable part of childbirth or aging. It can happen when you cough or sneeze or a sudden episode makes you worry that you’ll be unable to get to the toilet in time.  There are many different causes. It can be a short-term problem. Or it can be a long-term issue that must be managed. If you are experiencing this problem, please make an appointment with our office.

.What causes urinary incontinence?

Women are most likely to have incontinence during or after pregnancy and childbirth. Hormone changes of menopause may also cause it because of weakened and stretched pelvic muscles. It also can happen from changes in certain diseases or at the start of an illness.

Some other common causes include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Aging
  • Urinary tract infection (may be the first and only symptom)
  • Stool buildup in the bowels
  • Being overweight (this increases pressure on the bladder and the muscles that control it)
  • Overactive bladder (the bladder squeezes at the wrong times and without warning)

What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?

  • Urge incontinence. The need to urinate comes on very quickly and you may not be able to get to a restroom in time. It’s more common in older adults and may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder.
  • Stress incontinence. This is the most common type of incontinence and more often affects women. You may leak urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Or when doing other movements that put pressure on the bladder.
  • Overflow incontinence. The leakage of small amounts of urine caused by an over-filled bladder. It may feel like you can’t fully empty your bladder.
  • Mixed incontinence. A mix of more than one of the types listed above.

The symptoms of UI may look like other conditions or health problems which is why it is important for you to make an appointment to see us so we can determine the cause of your problem.

How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?

The most important step in diagnosing UI is making an appointment and talking with one of our providers. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting help. We’ll do a physical exam and some initial testing. In some cases we may refer you to an urologist or an urogynecologist for further care.

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, type of incontinence, age, and general health.  It can include things such as bladder training, special exercises, medicines, and even surgery in some cases.