You’re hesitant to go out and be social because of urinary incontinence, and you’re tired of feeling like a prisoner to the problem. There may be some comfort in knowing you’re not alone — one-quarter to one-third of men and women in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence.
Of even more comfort is the fact that there are several solutions for urinary incontinence, and our team of urology experts offers them here at Arizona Urology.
In the following, we review several options that can help free you from urinary incontinence.
Types of urinary incontinence
Our first step in treating your urinary incontinence is figuring out which type is affecting you. The most common forms of urinary incontinence include:
- Stress incontinence — pressure on your bladder causes leakage
- Urge incontinence — you feel a sudden urge to urinate
- Overflow incontinence — your bladder doesn’t empty properly
- Mixed incontinence — a combination of stress and urge incontinence
The root cause and the type of incontinence affecting you dictate your treatment options.
A conservative approach
In most cases, we like to try a conservative approach to urinary incontinence first. For example, if you have stress incontinence, we recommend pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, that strengthen the support of your bladder to prevent leakage.
If you have urge incontinence, we may turn to bladder training — a technique in which you “teach” your bladder to void on a regular schedule, dictated by you and not the urges.
We might also recommend lifestyle changes that can help with incontinence, such as weight loss and/or scheduling your fluid intake to better effect.
If you have urge incontinence, certain medications may quiet your overactive bladder. As well, Botox® injections can also help to relax the muscles in your bladder that lead to urge incontinence.
Treatments for women
Women are far more prone to stress incontinence, as the support structures for their pelvic organs can weaken over time or after childbirth. If your stress incontinence doesn’t respond to pelvic floor exercises, we can take the next steps toward re-establishing support for your bladder. For example, we may insert a pessary to help hold up your urethra. Or, we can try a bladder sling surgery, which provides extra support between your vagina and bladder.
Another approach for stress incontinence in women is Bulkamid®, a bulking agent (a soft, water-based gel) that we inject into your urethra. Bulkamid does a great job restoring your urethra’s ability to close off and prevent involuntary leakage.
Improving nerve signaling
Both men and women can develop urge incontinence, and we’ve found that sacral neuromodulation can help with this form of incontinence. This solution is designed to improve the signaling between your bladder and your brain for better control over your urination urges.
The device we use is called InterStim™, which we implant into your hip area during an in-office, outpatient procedure.
As you can see, there’s no reason for you to suffer through your urinary incontinence when solutions are available.
To end your embarrassing urinary incontinence, please contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Gilbert, or Glendale, Arizona, to set up an appointment.