Whether you need medications to control an overactive bladder or surgery to better support your bladder, the experienced physicians tailor a treatment plan to your needs. Contact Midatlantic OBGYN online or by phone today to find help for incontinence.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is a condition that describes the sudden and uncontrolled loss of urine due to poor bladder control. Many women experience incontinence as they get older and the muscles that support the bladder become weak.
You may also be at risk for developing incontinence following pregnancy and childbirth, as the muscles surrounding the bladder stretch out and can no longer stop the flow of urine properly.
There are several types of incontinence that interfere with a woman’s quality of life:
Stress incontinence describes urine leaks that result when pressure is put on the bladder, such as during sudden movements like a cough or sneeze. Urine leaks can occur frequently because of stretching in the pelvic floor muscles that make it difficult to control the flow of urine.
Urgency incontinence describes the sudden need to urinate and the inability to make it to the bathroom in time before urine leaks occur. Urgency incontinence often results from an overactive bladder, a condition where your bladder muscles are too active and continue to contract even when your bladder isn’t full.
Mixed incontinence involves factors of both urgency and stress incontinence. Many women experience unexpected urine leaks due to both bladder pressure and dysfunction in the bladder muscles.
How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?
During your diagnostic evaluation for urinary incontinence, the Midatlantic OBGYN team discusses the severity and frequency of your urine leaks and reviews your usual activities and your medical history.
To rule out other issues that may lead to urine leaks, your provider may do a pelvic exam to evaluate the structures around your bladder. They may also use ultrasound to measure how much urine you eliminate from your body and how much remains in your bladder.
Once they ensure you don’t have underlying issues affecting your bladder, the Midatlantic OBGYN providers customize a treatment plan that focuses on your individual needs.
What treatments are available for incontinence?
For many women, the Midatlantic OBGYN team first recommends pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your bladder. Exercises involve tightening and releasing the muscles you normally use to stop the flow of urine. Your provider can suggest how often you should do these exercises to maximize the benefits.
If you have an overactive bladder, you may need medications to calm your muscles and reduce the frequency of urine leaks.
For women with severe incontinence due to bladder prolapse, surgery may be necessary. Bladder prolapse occurs when your weakened muscles give way and allow your bladder to fall down into your vaginal canal.
Urethral sling surgery is a common procedure to treat stress incontinence. Treatment involves creating a sling out of strips of synthetic mesh. The sling holds the bladder in place and prevents the urethra from opening when you make sudden movements.
You don’t have to deal with embarrassing urine leaks anymore. Schedule a diagnostic evaluation for incontinence at the Midatlantic OBGYN office nearest you. If you are struggling with incontinence, give us a call today at 703-777-6550 to schedule your appointment!