Urinary Incontinence

If you suffer from loss of bladder control, known as urinary incontinence, you’re not alone. Of the 25 million adult Americans suffering from some form of urinary incontinence, 75-80 percent of those are women. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Causes of urinary incontinence can range from muscle weakness, obesity and nerve damage to certain medication usage, urinary tract infections, and endocrinological disorders such as diabetes. Diagnosing the cause of your incontinence will start with a physical exam to look for any blockages or nerve problems. Depending on your symptoms and particular condition, your doctor will order tests to determine how best to treat your incontinence.

Because the types and causes of urinary incontinence can vary, there are a number of different treatments your doctor may consider, including:

  • Medications to calm or relax an overactive bladder
  • Topical estrogen to help rejuvenate and strengthen tissues in the urethra and vaginal areas
  • Insertion of a medical device inserted into the urethra or vagina to prevent leakage
  • Implantation of a device resembling a pacemaker to stimulate the nerves involved in bladder control
  • A surgical procedure to support the urethra or bladder, depending on individual needs

Your healthcare team may also recommend exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. If obesity plays a role in your incontinence, your doctor may also discuss weight-loss strategies with you.

The Center for Urogynecology

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