Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence gwinnettUrinary incontinence occurs when a patient experiences unwanted urine leakage. The problem can range from a few drops leaking while coughing, sneezing, or laughing, to fully emptying the bladder uncontrollably. While the condition can appear in any gender, it is twice as common in women compared to men due to anatomical differences, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. In general, there are three categories of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress urinary incontinence (or SUI) occurs when weakened muscles in the area cause a patient to leak urine when they cough, laugh, or sneeze, or when they perform exercises like walking or running.
  • Urgency urinary incontinence causes a patient to have a sudden strong urge to urinate, which is difficult to hold back. As a result, they may leak urine on the way to the bathroom or the bladder may empty completely before they reach the toilet.
  • Mixed Incontinence involves both SUI and urgency urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence isn’t typically a disorder in itself – it is a symptom of the underlying issue that is causing it. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and simple treatments are often able to control urinary incontinence and help patients put a stop to the social stress and embarrassment it creates.

 

Urinary Incontinence Treatment

Because urinary incontinence generally involves treating the underlying cause of the symptoms, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. This typically involves a detailed discussion of your symptoms, as well as a pelvic exam. In some cases, our providers at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett will perform other specialized tests to determine the extent of the condition and the root cause.

For many patients, the first recommendation will be one or more lifestyle changes. For those who are overweight, the excess weight can put additional pressure on the bladder and surrounding muscles, so weight loss can relieve enough of the pressure to make a significant difference. Adjusting your diet to avoid certain diuretics and limiting fluid intake at specific times may also be an option, and patients whose urinary incontinence is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles may benefit from a specific type of exercise called Kegel exercises. However, if additional treatment is needed, options may include medication, devices like pessaries or urethral inserts, injections, or surgical procedures, depending on the hormonal or structural causes of the symptoms.

To start working toward freedom from your urinary incontinence, schedule an appointment at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett.

 

Urinary Incontinence FAQs

What causes urinary incontinence?
In some cases, urinary incontinence is temporary due to a urinary tract infection, pregnancy, or certain medications. However, one of the most common causes of long-lasting urinary incontinence is a weakening of the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor, usually because of aging or childbirth. In other cases, the symptom may be caused by anatomical obstructions, long-term constipation, menopausal hormonal changes, or hysterectomies in women. Neurological disorders can also cause urinary incontinence by disrupting the nerve signals to the muscles which control the bladder.

Is there anything I can do at home to help my urinary incontinence?
Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, can be helpful for some women with urinary incontinence. Overweight women will find that losing weight may reduce pressure on the pelvic area. Women may also benefit from limiting their intake of certain diuretic foods and beverages, like alcohol, coffee, and anything with caffeine. In the meantime, there are over-the-counter products available to contain leaked urine, which can relieve the social stress of urinary incontinence.

 

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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

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