Incontinence is a common problem and one that can prevent women from participating in normal day-to-day activities, such as exercise and social events. Many women may even limit travel because of the need to constantly go to the bathroom. Incontinence is the loss of bladder control and can be a condition caused by childbirth, menopause or aging. It’s important to know that it shouldn’t be something that prevents you from enjoying life.
There are plenty of methods you can try to treat the problem, but before doing that, a doctor would need to diagnose the type of incontinence you have. If you find that you get urine leakage from coughing, laughing or sneezing then you most likely have stress incontinence. If you find that you have a sudden need to use the bathroom before urine leakage happens then it’s most likely urge incontinence or an overactive bladder.
A few methods you can try to manage incontinence is doing Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises work muscles in the pelvis to start and stop urine flow. You also can try to retrain your bladder by going to the bathroom at regular intervals during the day, every day. As time goes by, you increase the time between each interval. A third option to attempt to control incontinence is with medication. Your doctor can review options with you and prescribe a medication that can help.
However, if none of those methods work your doctor may recommend surgery.
For stress incontinence a doctor may recommend:
- A sling procedure. This is when a sling-like apparatus is used to support the bladder’s neck and keep the urethra in its correct position.
- Bladder neck suspension surgery. This procedure gives the bladder and urethra support by attaching them to surrounding tissue or bone.
For an overactive bladder or urge incontinence, a doctor may recommend:
- Bladder augmentation surgery. This procedure actually increases the bladder’s size to relieve pressure that may be causing incontinence.
- Vaginal prolapse surgeries. Varied techniques are used to repair weak or damaged muscles, ligaments and tissues that hold pelvic organs in place. They are also used to correct a descending bladder, uterus or vagina.
Don’t let incontinence hold you back from doing what you love. Consult with your health care provider about treatment options today.