Approximately 10 million women in the U.S. suffer from incontinence – that’s about one in four between the ages of 30 and 59.
Urinary incontinence is any time urine comes out when you don’t want it to, something that happens to many women.
There are a wide variety of reasons why women become incontinent.
- Injury: Pelvic muscle damage from childbirth, infections, spinal injury or cancer.
- Medical conditions: Pregnancy, obesity or diabetes can lead to weakened pelvic muscles.
- Genetics: Frequently there is a family history of weakness and urinary incontinence.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Stress incontinence is when urine comes out during activities that put pressure or “stress” on your bladder. This can include lifting heavy items, coughing, exercising, laughing or sneezing. This happens due to weakened muscles and connective tissues that support the bladder. (watch video below)
Urge incontinence is a sudden and strong need to urinate that doesn't always give you time to get to a bathroom. Urge incontinence is caused by abnormal bladder contractions. This is a common type of incontinence in people who are over age 60, and is often associated with a trigger such as hearing running water. (watch video below)
Treatments for Incontinence
Take the steps to stop bladder leaks
- 1. Talk to your doctor about unwanted leaks.
- 2. Learn why you are having this problem.
- 3. Get treatment and see results in 2 to 3 weeks.
Woman’s has a comprehensive team of experts, including gynecologists, urologists and physical therapists, committed to helping you gain control over your pelvic floor muscles.
- Quit smoking: It makes you cough and is a main cause of bladder cancer.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol.
- Losing weight can help.
Therapy: Most women experience considerable results within 2 to 3 weeks.
- Pelvic floor exercises: Kegels are a simple way to strengthen your pelvic floor. You’ll tighten then relax your muscles, and repeat. This helps control your urine flow. Some people need assistance to Kegel. Electrical stimulation and biofeedback can help.
- Bladder training: Controlling when and how often you use the bathroom. When you go longer in between bathroom visits, your bladder will stretch and can hold more. Avoiding irritants will also help.
- Urgency suppression: A way to control the sudden feelings of needing to go. It’s another type of bladder training.
Surgery: If other methods for helping stress incontinence don’t work, your doctor might recommend surgery, which can include:
- Sling procedure. This is the most common. Your doctor will fashion a “hammock” using mesh and tissue to support your urethra. It can be done as outpatient surgery
- Retropubic colposuspension. Your doctor might choose this method, along with a combination of others, if your bladder has dropped or prolapsed.
Learn more by watching our videos:
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Symptoms and Treatment
Urge Urinary Incontinence
Symptoms and Treatment
Talking About Incontinence