You shouldn’t be afraid to laugh too hard or travel far from a restroom. If so, you might experience some of the negative effects of bladder leakage or urinary incontinence. Between 25 and 45 percent of women experience some degree of incontinence. We define bladder leakage as the inability to control your bladder. Also, it is treatable.
One in three women in the United States will experience a condition that requires care from a urogynecologist. We understand it can feel embarrassing to discuss. However, speak with your doctor about any incontinence issues. This serves as the first step toward finding the right treatment. Then, you can regain control of your bladder.
Causes of incontinence
Sometimes, temporary issues can cause urinary incontinence. Many of these can include certain medications or a urinary tract infection. It’s also caused by longer-lasting issues with your bladder or pelvic muscles. Women tend to experience urinary incontinence twice as much as men. Things like pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause contribute to incontinence.
Many of the causes of incontinence can be treated. Moreover, with treatment, you can restore your bladder to function normally.
Bladder leakage symptoms
Furthermore, the symptoms of urinary incontinence vary. They may be as mild as minor leakages to being unable to reach the bathroom in time. You might experience different types of symptoms. However, this depends on the severity of your condition.
Stress on your bladder causes your bladder to release a small amount of pee. Furthermore, stress can include laughing, sneezing, coughing, or lifting weight.
You may feel the need to use the restroom urgently throughout the day.
Since your bladder doesn’t empty completely, you experience a small stream of urine often throughout the day. If you experience any of these symptoms, consider speaking to your OB/GYN about a treatment.
Treatments for bladder leakage and incontinence
You can experience less urge incontinence by slowly training your bladder to wait. You do this by waiting longer to use the restroom after you experience an urge to go.
Drink less fluid or avoid bladder-stimulating substances. These include caffeine or alcohol. Avoiding these can give you more control over using the restroom.
New bathroom practices
Schedule a time to use the restroom every few hours instead of waiting. Also, use the restroom and wait a few minutes. Then, use it again to help control overflow incontinence.
Pelvic floor exercises
Physical therapists can help you build up stronger pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that hold up your bladder and control urination.
Medicines can help you control urges and keep your bladder relaxed.
In addition, temporary electrical stimulation of the nerves around your bladder can help you regain control. Permanent nerve stimulation devices can also help with urge incontinence.
Plus, botox injections can help relax the nerves and muscles around the bladder. Furthermore, relaxation can give you better control.
Sometimes nonsurgical treatments don’t help. You may want to try something else. Moreover, you and your physician can explore surgical incontinence treatments.
A surgeon can place a sling to hold up your urethra. Surgeons create them from your own tissue or synthetic tissue. They can also stop incontinence.
Your physician repairs any bladder prolapse or other conditions that cause incontinence.
When it comes to routine maintenance, you probably keep up with your skincare, haircuts and other beauty regiments. However, you may overlook one of the most important areas of the female body. Urinary tract infections or UTIs affect over eight million Americans per year. They are more common in women. Furthermore, uncomfortable UTI symptoms can be prevented by practicing optimal hygiene.
Lowering your UTI risk
A UTI, also known as a bladder infection, can affect any part of your urinary system. These include the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. While not all cases of UTIs are preventable, you can lower your risk by following a few basic hygiene rules. Additionally, speak to your OB-GYN about other treatments that can help prevent or lower your risk for a UTI.
Here are common ways to reduce your risk for UTI:
Use the restroom as soon as you feel the urge to urinate.
Urinate and shower after engaging in sexual activity to wash away bacteria.
Wipe from front to back after bowel movements to prevent bacteria from coming into contact with the urethra.
Drink plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins and bacteria.
Wear cotton underwear that fits comfortably and isn’t too tight.
Consult with your OB-GYN about alternate birth control methods that won’t increase your risk for UTI.
Common UTI symptoms
Sometimes, UTIs cannot be prevented. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to diagnose, given the intensity and discomfort of accompanying symptoms. Make an appointment with your OB-GYN as soon as possible if you experience one or more of the following common UTI symptoms:
Increased urge to urinate
Burning pain during urination
Blood in the urine
Nausea and/or vomiting
Urine that has a foul odor
Urine that looks dark or cloudy
If you suspect you have a UTI, make an appointment with your OB-GYN immediately to receive treatment and prevent your infection from worsening. In most cases, your OB-GYN will prescribe one or more antibiotics or medications that can help manage and treat your condition.
Schedule an appointment with Women’s Care Florida to learn more about UTI treatment, and about our women’s health and gynecology services.
During Women’s Health Week (May 14-20), it’s easy to talk about the importance of diet, exercise, and yearly pelvic exams. However, it’s harder to talk about the more embarrassing but common health problems women face. Many women believe that urinary incontinence is a normal, unavoidable part of aging, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Learning more about urogynecology procedures, and talking comfortably about them is necessary for better health.
You don’t have to live with incontinence or pelvic discomfort. There’s an entire field of medicine dedicated to helping you overcome these common health problems. It’s called urogynecology, and it’s just one of the specialties we offer at Women’s Care Florida to help women live happier healthier lives.
What is urogynecology?
Urogynecology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. It focuses on treating noncancerous conditions that affect a women’s pelvic health. These include urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. The doctors who practice this type of medicine are called urogynecologists. If you have experienced problems with urinary or bowel control, a urogynecologist may become your new favorite person.
What do urogynecologists do?
Urogynecologists specialize in restoring comfort, function, and quality of life to women facing pelvic health problems. After four years of medical school and training, these surgeons complete an additional three years of advanced training in urogynecology.
When they have finally completed their 11 long years of graduate education and training, urogynecologists can provide surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Urogynecologists only treat women, so you can feel comfortable knowing your doctor has experience caring for your needs.
What happens during a urogynecology appointment?
During your first urogynecology appointment, your doctor will ask you about the problems you typically experience. Also, you’ll discuss when they occur and how often. You should be honest and open with your urogynecologist. Remember, they specialize in treating these conditions because they care about helping you improve your quality of life. Your physician may also ask about any surgeries you’ve had or the medicines you take. Some operations may change the way the muscles in the pelvis work, leading to incontinence or other problems. Some medications can also increase the risk of urinary problems.
What are urogynecology procedures?
Your physician will perform a pelvic exam similar to your yearly exam. They may look for signs of pelvic organ prolapse, such as a bulge in the vagina, and feel your uterus and bladder to ensure they are in the right locations. Based on your symptoms, your physician may also have you undergo urogynecology procedures such as a bladder emptying test or urodynamic testing. These tests assess how well your bladder works and give your doctor more information about your health.
Your doctor may schedule additional tests or imaging to get a better understanding of your pelvic health. Once your urogynecologist has all your test results, you can work together to determine what treatment may be right for your lifestyle. To learn more, watch for the next post in this series, about the most common urogynecology conditions.
At Women’s Care Florida, our three board-certified urogynecologists offer personalized, caring support for women facing pelvic health problems. We’ve helped thousands of women regain control and improve their quality of life. Schedule an appointment today to uncover the causes of your pelvic discomfort and explore treatment options.
Urogynecology is a subspecialty of women’s health, that you may have never heard about. However, that doesn’t mean urogynecologists only treat rare, specialized conditions. In fact, one in three women in the United States will experience a condition that requires care from a urogynecologist such as urinary incontinence. At Women’s Care Florida, our urogynecologists can help with symptoms ranging from painful sex to urine leakage. These are the three most common problems we treat:
Women commonly experience one of two different types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Many women joke about peeing a little when they sneeze or laugh. This problem is actually a minor form of stress incontinence. It’s caused by the weakening of the muscles and tendons that support your bladder. Childbirth is the most common cause of weakened muscles even though you may not experience incontinence until you are older.
Women’s Care Florida urogynecologists can give you many options for strengthening muscles and preventing leakage. You might participate in physical therapy, bladder training or undergo a minimally invasive robotic surgery to place support around your bladder.
Urge incontinence can be a more complicated problem to treat. When you have urge incontinence, you may feel a sudden, strong need to use the restroom followed by involuntary leakage. You may experience urge incontinence because of an infection, nerve damage or other issues.
Our urogynecologists offer many treatments to help stop the bladder contractions that cause leakage. You can explore nonsurgical options, like Botox injections or medicines, and surgical options like the placement of a nerve stimulator. We work with you to determine which treatment is best for your lifestyle so you can stay dry and in control.
If you experience bowel incontinence, you may have difficulty controlling bowel movements. The condition may be due to muscle or nerve damage during childbirth or simply as a side effect of aging. Even chronic constipation or diarrhea can cause this problem.
Our urogynecologists help you regain control of your bowel with treatments like biofeedback training, dietary changes or bowel training. If these noninvasive procedures don’t help, you can explore further options like nerve stimulation or minimally invasive surgery.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
This problem occurs when pelvic floor muscles are weakened. Organs like the bladder and uterus are supported by these muscles and can fall if the muscles become too weak, causing a bulge in the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse can cause both urinary and bowel incontinence, along with pelvic pain and pressure. Prolapse problems are often caused by childbirth, though you might not show symptoms until years after your child is born.
Physical therapy, including Kegel exercises, and losing excess weight may be enough to help with pelvic organ prolapse. If you need further treatment, our urogynecologists can also perform advanced surgeries to remove the uterus (robotic hysterectomy) or minimally invasive pelvic reconstruction surgeries to support fallen organs.
At Women’s Care Florida, our three board-certified urogynecologists provide compassionate, comprehensive urogynecological care for women experiencing urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you regain control and improve your quality of life.