The sudden, unavoidable urge to urinate. The hesitation when you feel a leak as you laugh. The fear that you won’t make it to the toilet in time.
If these symptoms sound familiar, you know that loss of control can be very embarrassing — but you’re hardly alone. In fact, more than 33 million Americans have some type of urinary incontinence.
A few of the most common types are stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. And while they’re caused by a number of different factors, they are treatable. Schedule an appointment with the experts at Advanced Urology to get a diagnosis and start taking control back from your bladder.
When to see a doctor for urinary incontinence
Not all types of urinary incontinence require treatment. For example, you might feel an intense urge to urinate after drinking a caffeinated beverage, but the feeling passes once the liquid exits your body.
Temporary conditions, like urinary tract infections and vaginal infections, can also cause incontinence. These conditions require medical treatment, and incontinence generally improves after the condition goes away.
In other cases, incontinence isn’t so easy to identify. Consider scheduling a urology appointment if your symptoms include:
- Urine leakage when you’re active
- Urine leakage when you exert pressure on your bladder
- Frequent or constant dribbling of urine
- The sudden, intense urge to urinate
- The inability to fully empty your bladder
- Waking up frequently in the night to urinate
All of these symptoms could indicate urinary incontinence, and it’s possible to experience several different symptoms.
Your urinary incontinence treatment options
Incontinence is embarrassing, but our team can help. We work with you to identify the cause of your incontinence, then recommend treatment to relieve your symptoms. For many people, a combination of treatments is often most effective.
We often start by recommending lifestyle changes for incontinence. Scheduling trips to the toilet and controlling the amount of fluids you drink can help reduce your urge to go. Regular exercise, quitting smoking, and working to maintain a healthy weight can also lessen symptoms of incontinence.
Pelvic floor therapy
In many cases, incontinence is linked to weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your pelvic organs, including your bladder, and a weak pelvic floor can cause incontinence.
Whether you work with a physical therapist or do exercises on your own, pelvic floor therapy can strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. It can be very effective for women with weak pelvic floors from pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, and men can also benefit from pelvic floor exercises.
Biofeedback can be used alongside pelvic floor therapy. This treatment helps you visualize your pelvic floor muscles and engage them properly in your exercises.
Several different medications relax bladder muscles and can be used to treat overactive bladder and urge incontinence. For women specifically, hormone replacement therapy with estrogen can help reduce menopause-related incontinence. Men with incontinence may benefit from alpha blockers.
If conservative treatments aren’t effective, we may recommend surgery to control your incontinence. Your options may include a neuromodulation device implant, which stimulates nerves that affect bladder function, or a pubovaginal sling, which supports pelvic organs to stop urine leakage.
Urinary incontinence can make you feel like you’ve lost control, but our team is here to help you get that control back. Contact our offices in Culver City, Los Angeles, or Redondo Beach, California, to schedule your first appointment.You can call or send us a message online.