Urinary continence & bladder matters
At least 30 million Americans have problems with urinary incontinence – and sufferers are twice as likely to be women as men. In fact, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research cites studies indicating that one in four women aged 30 to 59 have experienced bladder problems, including overactive bladder and neurogenic bladder.
Many women have stress urinary incontinence, which can be attributed to anatomical changes caused by aging, childbirth, hormonal changes and genetic factors. Stress urinary incontinence occurs as the pelvic floor muscles weaken, which causes the bladder to slip downward toward the vagina. This prevents muscles from squeezing as tightly as they should. As a result, urine can leak into the urethra from coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise.
Stress urinary incontinence often occurs in combination with urge incontinence, which is caused by inappropriate bladder contractions. Urge incontinence can mean that the bladder empties during sleep, after you drink a small amount of water or touch water or even hear it running. Involuntary muscle actions can occur due to nerve damage or to the muscles themselves.
Advanced treatment & procedures correct most problems
Pelvic floor therapy can correct many problems without surgery, and biofeedback or InterStim sacral neuromodulation can be very effective in training patients how to relax and control their pelvic floor muscles. Several minimally invasive surgical procedures can treat stress urinary incontinence. Options include a variety of pubovaginal slings, including surgical tapes that provide urethral support and prevent leakage. These can be performed as outpatient procedures. We can implant neuromodulation devices to treat urge incontinence that does not respond to medical therapy.