Approximately 17 million women in the U.S. encounter urinary incontinence in their lifetime. Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is loss of control in managing the flow of urine from your body. This condition can occur in women between the ages of 18 and 60 and beyond and is usually a result of the urethra not being closed tightly to keep urine in the bladder.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence vary from:
- An inability to prevent leaking urine when exercising or other involuntary actions such as coughing or sneezing.
- An overwhelming urge to urinate that often causes urination before getting to a bathroom.
Behavior therapies – Behavior modification is used to train one’s bladder and sphincter muscles by decreasing fluid intake and by prompting or scheduling voiding.
Pelvic muscle exercises – Called Kegel exercises, these exercises are commonly intended to strengthen weak muscles surrounding the bladder.
Protective undergarments – Pads or undergarments designed to absorb leaked urine.
Catheter – Tubes are inserted into the urethra to collect urine into an external drainage bag. These are generally left in place 24 hours a day.
External devices – Called a Pessary, this device is designed to apply pressure to help reposition the urethra permitting it to close tightly. It features a stiff ring that is inserted into the vagina to exert pressure press against the wall of the vagina and urethra.
Bulking injections – Bulking agents such as collagen are injected directly into the urethral lining to firm and bulk up the urethral lining so that the urethra can close more tightly.
Medications – There are a number of medications to treat incontinence caused by the urge to continually void.
Surgery – There are a number of surgical approaches to strengthen, support, elevate and/or restore the urethra and bladder. These are employed when other treatments are not working.
At Mowery Women’s Clinic, your health and well-being is our top priority. If you or a loved one is suffering from urinary incontinence, please contact Mowery Women’s Clinic today for more information and to schedule an appointment.