Experiencing urinary issues can be painful and embarrassing. There are various medications and treatments available to help get you back to feeling normal.
While urinary incontinence will not cause severe medical problems, it is often made worse by underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and chronic bowel problems. It is also emotionally distressing and embarrassing. It often requires using feminine pads to prevent leaking through clothing. Many affected women simply avoid social activities and exercise because of the leaking.
There are a variety of causes for incontinence, so only your doctor can determine what treatment is right for you, but here are some treatment options you and your doctor may consider:
• Stress incontinence may be effectively treated with exercise therapy, medications, or both.
• Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises can result in better control of the bladder when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising. Add biofeedback behavioral therapy and the results can improve dramatically.
• Medication may be used to tighten the bladder and prevent urine leakage, or reduce the urgency sensations that cause frequent urination or leaking on the way to the bathroom.
• Outpatient minimally invasive surgery, such as TVT (Tension-free Vaginal Tape), adds support for the bladder neck and is usually needed for severe stress incontinence.
• Other options for the treatment of incontinence include mechanical devices called pessaries, timed urination, vaginal estrogen, collagen injections and vaginal strength training devices.
• One promising advancement is Sacral Nerve Stimulation, an outpatient procedure that has had much success where other methods have failed. Fayetteville Woman’s Care is one of only a handful of local OB/GYN offices trained and able to conduct this new exciting procedure.
Whatever options you choose to consider, treatment for urinary incontinence is effective and well tolerated. Many women we see at Fayetteville Woman’s Care can’t believe they waited this long to seek help for their leaking. Most women say they were too embarrassed to bring up the subject with their gynecologist. Don’t be embarrassed. We are here to help you with all of your medical issues.
Call your doctor today to get control of your bladder. Stop letting your bladder tell you how to live your life.
This chronic, painful, inflammatory bladder disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms are similar to many other conditions, such as urinary tract infections, endometriosis and even some gastrointestinal conditions.
The pain associated with IC is due to a damaged urothelium, or bladder lining. When the layer is damaged (via a urinary tract infection (UTI), excessive consumption of coffee or sodas, traumatic injury, etc.), urinary chemicals can “leak” into surrounding tissues, causing pain, inflammation and urinary symptoms. Oral medications like Elmiron and medications that are placed directly into the bladder via a catheter work to repair and rebuild this damaged/wounded lining, allowing for a reduction in symptoms.
Most people with IC experience:
• Sudden urges to urinate
• Frequent trips to the bathroom during the day or night to urinate
• Chronic pain in the bladder, pelvis and/or lower abdomen area
• Frequent urinary track infections
• Pain during sexual intimacy
If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to speak with your doctor about it. He can determine if you have IC and offer an effective treatment.
Painful and frequent urination are often symptoms of a bacterial infection to the urinary tract. Sometimes there is visible blood in the urine, which can be frightening if you’ve never had a UTI. Your doctor can complete a simple dipstick urinalysis to detect the bacteria. He will prescribe antibiotics and a painkiller to help until the antibiotics kick in.
If you cannot get to our office right away, drinking several glasses of pure cranberry juice may help ease the pain. Also, making a habit of drinking lots and lots of water will help you continuously remove bacteria through frequent urination.
Often called honeymoon cystitis, UTIs often occur after sexual intercourse. If you are prone to UTIs, we recommend that you urinate immediately after intercourse to flush out any bacteria.
If you have noticed the involuntary loss of urine during physical activity such as coughing, laughing or lifting, you may have Stress Urinary Incontinence. It is very common in women who have given birth, had previous pelvic surgery or who are experiencing hormonal changes. These can result in a weakening of the muscles that support the urethra (the small tube that carries urine out of the body) and the bladder neck (the opening that connects the urethra to the bladder).
Fayetteville Woman’s Care offers a surgical minimally invasive treatment, called a Mid-urethral Sling System, for Stress Urinary Incontinence. The treatment is designed to provide a ribbon of support under the urethra to prevent it from dropping during physical activity. The dropping of your urethra out of the correct anatomical position may be what causes your incontinence. Providing support that mimics the normal anatomy should prevent urine from leaking or reduce the amount of leakage.
We have had great success with the sling procedure, but it is not for everyone. Be sure to speak with your doctor about your stress urinary incontinence concerns.