Understanding Your Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence

Do you leak urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough, or exercise? Do you have sudden urges to urinate that come on so quickly you can barely get to a restroom in time? Is it impossible for you to sleep well because of so many nighttime visits to the bathroom?

If so, you may have urinary incontinence, a condition that affects many women, especially after menopause.

Fortunately, treatment can help address urinary incontinence. At Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, our team of care providers takes urinary incontinence seriously. We provide a range of treatment options for this bothersome problem. Here, we explain the types of available treatments.

About urinary incontinence

There are two kinds of urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence occurs when something – such as pressure from coughing or laughing -- stresses your bladder and causes you to leak urine. Urgency urinary incontinence happens when you have strong urges to urinate that come on suddenly.

Some women also experience fecal incontinence, which occurs when the contents of your bowels leak or when you have uncontrollable urges to pass bowel movements.

Urinary incontinence has a range of possible causes, including pregnancy, hormonal changes connected to menopause, and pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse. Certain medications or other medical problems can also contribute to incontinence.

Treatments for urinary incontinence

The type of treatment that is right for you depends on the type of incontinence you have, its causes, triggers, and other symptoms that you may have. Treatment options include the following:

Lifestyle changes

These changes include shifting your fluid intake patterns and losing weight if you’re overweight or obese.

Pelvic floor exercises

Exercises known as kegels can strengthen the muscles that support your bladder and pelvic organs. These muscles can become weaker because of childbirth, age, and weight gain. To do kegels, you tighten and then relax the muscles you use to stop urine from flowing.

Kegels aren’t always enough to reverse incontinence in women with weak pelvic floor muscles. That’s why we offer our patients Attain and Apex M devices from InControl Medical. These devices, which you use at home, help you exercise the muscles that play a role in urinary and bowel incontinence. Many women find that these devices allow them to exercise their pelvic muscles more effectively than they can on their own.

Medication

For some patients, medications can help relieve urinary incontinence symptoms. Generally, incontinence medications target the muscles that support pelvic organs and affect the way your bladder functions.

Vaginal laser treatment

When urinary incontinence is related to vaginal atrophy (drying, thinning, and inflammation of the vagina), treatment with MonaLisa Touch™ vaginal laser or the FemiLift™ vaginal laser may help. These treatments use gentle laser energy to tighten and restore the elasticity of vaginal tissues.

Surgery

When conservative measures don’t relieve urinary incontinence, your provider may recommend surgical treatments. For example, you may benefit from the surgical insertion of a sling that supports pelvic organs.

Don’t suffer in silence

If you have urinary incontinence, we can help. After evaluating your symptoms and your health history, our providers recommend a treatment option that is customized for your needs. Schedule an evaluation by calling our office at 513-794-1500 or requesting an appointment today.

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