If you’re among the 24% of women between the ages of 18 and 44 experiencing bladder leakage or an increased urgency to urinate, you probably have urinary incontinence. Regina Hill, MD, diagnoses the cause of urinary incontinence and offers expert treatment at her practice in Westlake, Ohio. Call the practice to learn more about urinary incontinence treatment options.
Urinary incontinence symptoms typically include bladder leakage with or without an increased urgency to urinate or a need to urinate very frequently. The specific symptoms depend on the type of incontinence that’s present.
Overactive bladder or urge incontinence results in frequent urges to urinate, even during sleep. This type of incontinence occurs when the nerves that control the bladder and urinary tract are damaged in some way.
Stress incontinence causes bladder leakage when you cough, sneeze or perform strenuous activities like exercise or even sex. This type of incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become weak as a result of trauma, disease or age- or hormone-related changes.
Mixed incontinence is another category that includes symptoms of both overactive bladder and stress incontinence.
Functional incontinence is a fourth type that occurs when a person’s physical health makes it impossible or difficult to get to the bathroom in time to avoid “accidents.”
Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles due to age, hormonal changes or trauma due to vaginal childbirth are some of the most common causes. Surgery including prior hysterectomy and traumatic accidents can also cause incontinence. Sometimes, incontinence can develop as a result of specific diseases. To determine the cause of incontinence, tests can be performed to evaluate the function of the bladder and its ability to hold urine without leaking.
Some types of urinary incontinence can be managed with medications combined with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Often, though, surgical procedures provide the best option for women with chronic symptoms, especially when medication doesn’t provide enough relief. Some surgeries can be performed to repair or strengthen pelvic floor muscles or to reinforce them with natural or synthetic materials. Other procedures use a small implantable device designed to regulate nerve impulses that control the bladder and the urinary tract. BOTOX® injections can also help some patients with overactive bladder. The type of approach used will be determined following a comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms and your health history.
To get diagnosis and treatment for your incontinence, call Regina Hill, MD today.