Urinary Incontinence Q & A
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a common, and often distressing, problem that involves involuntary loss of urine. You may leak a small amount of urine or lose control of your entire bladder. Two common types of urinary incontinence that women experience are:
Stress urinary incontinence causes urine to leak during activities that put pressure on your bladder, such as laughing, sneezing, or lifting something heavy.
This type of incontinence involves a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. You may also need to urinate more frequently, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a urinary tract infection.
Who gets urinary incontinence?
Women are twice as likely to get urinary incontinence as men. This is because women’s bodies go through changes with pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. These changes affect the muscles that stop the flow of urine.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a symptom of an underlying problem rather than a standalone medical condition. Incontinence occurs when the muscles and nerves that control the flow of urine become weakened or damaged.
In addition to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, other factors that damage these muscles and nerves include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Nerve damage from diabetes or childbirth
In some cases, urinary incontinence is a short-term problem that results from another reason, such as:
- Medications that act as diuretics
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Caffeinated beverages
Short-term incontinence is easy to resolve by removing the underlying issue. If you have a UTI that causes incontinence, the team at Coeur OBGYN provides treatment for the infection.
How do you diagnose and treat urinary incontinence?
First, your provider at Coeur OBGYN performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical history to determine the cause of your incontinence. They may also take tests, such as a urine test or ultrasound.
Then, they create a personalized treatment plan for your particular condition. Depending on your needs, treatment for urinary incontinence may begin with steps you can take at home, such as doing Kegel exercises. Urinary incontinence that doesn’t improve with home care may require medications or surgery.
To learn how you can control urinary incontinence, call Coeur OBGYN or book an appointment online today.