If there was a list of medical issues that women don’t feel comfortable discussing, urinary incontinence would likely rank fairly high on it. The involuntary bladder leakage associated with urinary incontinence can be a source of considerable embarrassment and frustration. However, the truth is that urinary incontinence is very common and nothing to be ashamed of. To help start a dialogue, our reproductive healthcare experts have provided some information on the causes of the various types of urinary incontinence and how they can be treated.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence is the most common form of urinary incontinence. Women with stress urinary incontinence may experience an involuntary loss of urine after or during mild physical activities like laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising. It can be caused by the following:
- · A weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that occurs after a significant bodily change like pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause
- · Conditions that cause chronic sneezing or coughing like bronchitis or respiratory infections
- · Obesity, as extra weight can put additional pressure on the bladder
- · Hormonal imbalance that occurs after menopause due to a lack of estrogen produced by the body
Women with urge incontinence have a sudden strong urge to urinate, which can be difficult to hold back. Urge incontinence can be caused by the following:
- · Metabolic disorders like diabetes
- · Health conditions that affect the bladder’s nerves or other areas of the nervous system like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
- · Damage to the muscles in the bladder area
Overflow incontinence describes a condition in which a woman is unable to fully empty their bladder, leading to overflow which can unexpectedly leak out. If left untreated, it can cause bladder infections and other gynecological issues. Overflow incontinence can be caused by the following:
- · A weakening of the bladder muscles
- · Nerve damage in the bladder area
- · Certain conditions that block the flow of urine, such as tumors
- · Constipation, especially in older women
Thankfully, urinary incontinence can be treated. Depending on what type of urinary incontinence a woman experiences, her treatment options can range from lifestyle changes like dietary alterations, bladder exercises, medications, or non-surgical FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation treatments.
Being open and communicating with a board-certified gynecologist can make all the difference for women who wish to find the right treatment for their bladder leakage once and for all. If you would like more information on urinary incontinence and how it can be treated, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to request an appointment today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, updates, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.