The uncontrollable leakage of urine under any circumstance is called urinary incontinence. It is very common in women. Estimates claim that 10 to 70% of women in your community suffer from some form of urinary continence. If you are suffering from this condition, you are not alone, and there are treatments available that may be able to help you.
What are the different types of urinary incontinence?
- Stress incontinence: Urinary leakage that happens when there is increased pressure in the abdomen and weakness “down below.” This happens during sneezing, coughing, laughing, walking and running, and even with sex in some women.
- Urge Incontinence: Urine leaks because of hyperactive nerves and/or muscles in the bladder.
- Mixed Incontinence: Stress incontinence and urge incontinence combined are mixed incontinence.
- Overflow Incontinence: Loss of urine due to the bladder not emptying all the way.
What are some other symptoms one can get?
With a leaky bladder, one can experience a number of other symptoms:
- Urgency: A strong need to empty the bladder. If delayed, this may lead to episodes of leaking.
- Frequency: Urinating so often that it affects your quality of life.
- Nocturia: Urinating two or more times at night.
- Dysuria: Burning or irritation with urination.
- Enuresis: Bladder emptying in bed.
- Urinary retention: The inability to fully empty the bladder.
What are some of the common causes of urinary incontinence?
- Urinary tract infection
- Abnormal growths from the benign to the malignant, including stones, polyps, and tumors
- Lack of support “down there”: With laxity in the pelvic floor, incontinence can be an issue.
- Abnormalities in the urinary tract, such as a fistula
- Hyperactive muscles or nerves in the bladder
How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?
Dr. Samuels will spend time taking a history and performing a physical. To arrive at the most accurate diagnosis possible, testing may be necessary. This may or may not include urodynamics, a urination diary, ultrasound, and cystoscopy.
Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence
There are many options for treating urinary incontinence, ranging from lifestyle changes to pills or surgery. Which treatment will be right for you depends on your type of incontinence, the cause of your incontinence, and the severity of your symptoms.
Interstim®: The world’s first system that uses mild electrical pulses to stimulate the nerves that control the bladder and muscles related to urination. It helps the brain and nerves to communicate so the bladder can function properly. It may be an option for patients with overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms or non-obstructive urinary retention who have failed other treatments.
BOTOX®: This is a prescription medicine that can be injected into the bladder wall to help relax the bladder. This helps to reduce urgency, frequency, and incontinence episodes. This procedure is done in the office.
Bowel or Anal Incontinence
What is bowel or anal incontinence?
This is relatively common in women who have had childbirth injury, due to age, trauma, medications, and other concurrent illnesses. It involves the leaking of gas, liquid, or solid stool uncontrollably out of the anus. It is particularly disturbing for women and can severely affect their quality of life.
How can bowel or anal incontinence be treated?
Treatment options range from behavioral changes to Interstim® or surgery, depending on the individual patient’s needs. Dr. Samuels will take a history, perform tests, and learn about the full extent of your symptoms in order to make the best treatment recommendation for you.