Is bladder control problem controlling your life? Urinary incontinence is a very common problem in women. For patients throughout Puyallup, WA and the Tacoma area, Dedicated Women’s Health Specialists can help with issues of urinary incontinence and ensure our patients receive the most effective treatment available. Dedicated Women’s Health Specialists believes that incontinence should not cause women to suffer in silence and works to get patients back to enjoying life as quickly as possible.
Urinary Incontinence Q & A
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence refers to involuntary loss of urine. It is one of the most frequent problems that develop as women age. Childbearing affects the incidence as well as hereditary factors. Many women suffer silently thinking that this is an inevitable part of aging. It is NOT! In fact, women often hesitate to even bring this up to their physician because it is embarrassing for them to talk about. Urinary incontinence can practically control a woman’s life. The good news is that this problem can be correctly diagnosed and treated. Take back the control of your life. We are also seeing a tremendous increase in this problem as women are living longer and longer. This is the reason why Dr. Eun at Dedicated Women’s Health Specialists has invested a significant amount of time and effort in developing a special expertise in this area.
What are the Symptoms and Types of Urinary Incontinence?
There are many causes but the most common two types are:
· Stress incontinence refers to the loss of urine in spurts when a woman sneezes, laughs, coughs, or performs another activity that increases the abdominal pressure. Some women cannot exercise due to this. This is the most frequently experienced type and is associated with anatomical changes that occur as a result of childbearing, gravity, and hereditary tendencies.
· Urge Incontinence refers to the loss of urine that is associated with a strong sense of urgency. This occurs because the bladder muscle contracts involuntarily. Some women will lose urine on the way to the bathroom while others may experience dripping after completion of voiding. The frequency of urination accompanies urge incontinence often. Some women may experience a severe sense of urgency without urine loss. This condition is sometimes called overactive bladder.
Bladder control issues are typically the result of weak muscles in the lower urinary tract or damage to the urinary tract or the nerves which regulate urination. Urge incontinence is the result of an overactive bladder muscle which expels urine and can be connected to stress, stroke, Parkinson’s, or aggravation of the bladder. Stress incontinence can be the result of weight gain, childbirth, or other conditions which stretch the pelvic floor muscles.
How is Urinary Incontinence Evaluated?
We begin the evaluation by taking a detailed medical history and performing a physical examination. We also have our patients fill out a detailed questionnaire and ask them to keep a voiding diary for 2 days. Based on initial evaluation, we proceed with more involved diagnostic testing as needed. We have the latest computerized technology (urodynamic testing unit) to aid in making a correct diagnosis of your incontinence right in our office so that you don’t have to go to a major center for the same sophisticated testing capability.
What are Other Issues Related to Urinary Incontinence?
Many times, urinary incontinence is associated with genital prolapse. As women have babies and advance in years, sometimes the uterus and/or vagina lose support and they start falling down. We are seeing a tremendous increase in this condition as women are living longer and longer. This condition may cause a heavy sensation in the vagina, pressure, back or pelvic pain, difficulty with intercourse, and sometimes results in a big bulge outside the vagina. When these problems coexist with incontinence, we can manage both problems simultaneously if necessary.
What are the Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence?
After a complete evaluation has been completed, we will then discuss all the different options to treat your condition including certain exercises, biofeedback, physical therapy, behavioral training, medications, and surgery. Most often, there will be more than one treatment option for your condition so that you choose the option that is right for you. If surgical treatment is needed, Dr. Eun performs one of the most advanced minimally invasive procedures available that can be done as an outpatient.