Women are no strangers to urinary incontinence — up to 45% of women experience the issue, either temporarily or as part of menopause and aging. While many of the risk factors for urinary incontinence may be inevitable, dealing with involuntary leakage certainly isn’t something you need to resign yourself to.
Dr. Gary Willen and our team are firm believers in offering all the available solutions for urinary incontinence here at Tahoe Women’s Care. In the following, we review the many ways we can help patients regain control over their urinary incontinence and improve their quality of life.
The many faces of urinary incontinence
How we go about treating your urinary incontinence depends on what type of incontinence you have, as well as why the condition developed.
There are three main types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence — there’s pressure on your bladder
- Urge incontinence — you have uncontrollable urges to urinate
- Mixed incontinence — a combination of stress and urge incontinence
There’s also functional incontinence, which is when physical issues prevent you from getting to a bathroom easily, but we’re going to focus on the above three.
As for what leads to these types of incontinence, there are various factors, such as:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Urinary tract infections
- Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease
As you can see, many of these conditions are unique to women, which is what drives the larger prevalence of urinary incontinence in women.
There are solutions for urinary incontinence
As you might imagine, our first step is to figure out what’s behind your urinary incontinence so we can get you on the right treatment path to resolve the issue.
Once we identify the issue, we can get you started on one or more of the following:
If your urinary incontinence is due to a lack of bladder support, exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor can prove very valuable. For a more detailed explanation of Kegel exercises, click here.
If you have urge incontinence, we work on bladder training — urinating at certain times to increase the amount of time you can wait in between.
Hormone replacement therapy
For women who are experiencing urinary incontinence after menopause, hormone replacement therapy may help.
Pessaries for support
If your bladder prolapse is pronounced, we can outfit you with a pessary, a device that reestablishes support for your bladder.
For overactive bladders, we can turn to medications, specifically anticholinergics that block certain neurotransmitters and involuntary muscle spasms, such as those in your bladder.
Another approach for urinary incontinence is to bulk up your urethra to prevent involuntary leakage.
For urinary incontinence, as well as declining vaginal health (dryness, etc.), we offer MonaLisa Touch. Using this laser technology, our goal is to improve the health of your vaginal tissues so they can help better support your bladder.
If your urinary incontinence is due to severe pelvic organ prolapse, Dr. Willen can perform surgery that restores pelvic organs to their proper positions.
We hope that by outlining your treatment options, we’ve helped you see there’s no reason to suffer with urinary incontinence in silence.
To figure out the best solution for your urinary incontinence, please contact our office in Carson City, Nevada, to set up an appointment.