Is your loss of bladder control causing you stress or embarrassment? Urinary incontinence is a common issue, especially in aging women, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. At Capital Women’s Care in Leesburg and Sterling, Virginia and surrounding areas, you can speak confidentially with a board-certified OB/GYN physician about incontinence issues or other health concerns. Since bladder control problems can be a sign of a more serious health issue, book your appointment today.
Urinary Incontinence Q&A
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence refers to the loss of bladder control. Your symptoms might be minor at first and get worse over time. Some women may experience a bit of leaky urine here and there, while others find they can’t get to a bathroom in time to empty their bladder.
Urinary incontinence can take different forms and be rooted in various issues, including:
- Stress incontinence — When physical movement causes a strain that leads to loss of urine
- Urge incontinence — The involuntary loss of urine that happens when you have a sudden need to urinate
- Continuous incontinence–Complete absence of bladder control, often due to mobility limitations or neurologic disorders
- Urinary dribbling — Excess urine that leaks out of the bladder after urination
What causes urinary incontinence?
Sometimes urinary incontinence can be related to your diet. Foods and beverages that act as diuretics will stimulate your bladder and the urge to urinate. These include:
- Coffee or tea
- Citrus fruits
- High doses of vitamin C
- Carbonated drinks
- Acidic or spicy foods
For some women, incontinence is caused by a structural issue in the pelvic region because of:
- Pelvic or vaginal prolapse (when the pelvic floor or vaginal wall is tilted or shifts position due to childbirth or other factors)
- Vaginal hysterectomy
- Cystocele or rectocele (bulges that can form in the pelvic region)
Urinary incontinence can also be caused by a urinary tract infection, constipation, and a variety of medications.
How is urinary incontinence treated?
In many cases, urinary incontinence can be treated easily. Here are some of the common ways your physician might address it:
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises
Your physician can give you instructions on how to do exercises at home to strengthen the pelvic area and improve symptoms of incontinence. Pelvic physical therapy can be helpful in making sure the exercises are being done correctly and leading to measurable improvements. Oftentimes these exercises can minimize the need for surgeries to treat the problem
This outpatient surgical procedure uses human or synthetic tissue to create a “sling” for your urethra and bladder neck to relieve incontinence. This is not the same thing as the controversial Vaginal Mesh surgery, but rather a long-lasting “backstop” that greatly improves bladder control for stress urinary incontinence.
Different types of vaginal reconstruction (or as one of our providers calls it, a “vaginal facelift”) can help to eliminate prolapse and prevent urine leakage. A common example is Anterior and or Posterior repair (aka “colporrhaphy”) with or without hysterectomy.
If you’re concerned about urinary incontinence, book an appointment with the online scheduler today.