If you experience urinary incontinence, you’re not alone. In fact, millions of Americans, especially women, have some involuntary loss of urine. There are different types of urinary incontinence, and there are also a variety of solutions.
About 80% of cases of urinary incontinence in women can be effectively treated. But, in order to get a treatment that works, you need to talk to your doctor. It’s estimated that more than 60% of women who have incontinence are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about it.
Types and causes of incontinence
There are several types of incontinence, but stress incontinence is the most common. If you lose a few drops of urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or otherwise put pressure on your bladder, this is stress incontinence. Other types of incontinence include:
- Urge - a sudden, intense need to urinate, sometimes followed by leakage
- Functional - when some other issue, such as pain, keeps you from reaching the bathroom in time
- Overflow - your bladder never completely empties, resulting in leakage
It’s possible to have more than one type of incontinence. Often, urinary incontinence is a result of some major change such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or hysterectomy. It can also be caused by a urinary tract infection or obstruction.
Older women have a greater risk of developing urinary incontinence. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that more than half of women over the age of 65 have some degree of urinary incontinence.
The treatment plan that Dr. Pourzand recommends for you depends on numerous factors, including the type of incontinence you’re experiencing and your medical history.
One of the simplest solutions is strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. The most common method of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is by doing Kegel exercises. There are several different ways to do Kegel exercises, so you may want to discuss what will work best for you with Dr. Pourzand.
A type of treatment called biofeedback may be helpful, particularly if it’s combined with exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback provides information about how your bladder and pelvic muscles are working. That information may help you increase your control.
There may be a pharmaceutical solution for your incontinence. If your issue has to do with hormonal changes, medications may be the most appropriate treatment. Whether or not medication will work for you depends on your medical history, your situation, and the type of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing.
In some cases, a surgical intervention may be the most effective method to treat your urinary incontinence. Current methods for surgically correcting urinary incontinence are much less invasive than they used to be. If surgery is the approach that Dr. Pourzand recommends for you, she will thoroughly discuss the risks and benefits with you.
Urinary incontinence is a widespread problem, especially for women aged 65 and older. No matter how old you are, there’s probably a solution for you. If you’re ready to begin exploring treatment options for your urinary incontinence, book an appointment with Dr. Pourzand online or by phone today.