Diagnosing and Treating Incontinence in Women
Incontinence in women causes irritating and sometimes painful symptoms. Urine leakage, the frequent urge to urinate, pain during urination and other issues frustrate women. Our highly trained and skilled urologists are experts at treating incontinence in women. Our physicians and staff encourage patients to come forward when they experience uncomfortable or unpleasant symptoms. No woman should suffer silently with incontinence problems.
Patients need to share their concerns with our urologists. Once our physicians and staff take a thorough medical history and perform a physical examination, they can decide which tests to perform. Our physicians may recommend a few types of tests for diagnosing incontinence.
- Urinalysis and blood tests
- Urodynamic testing, which includes a variety of tests that determine how well the urinary tract is storing and releasing urine
- Cystoscopy, a test that allows urologists to view the urethra and bladder
- Ultrasound imaging
Lifestyle changes and nonsurgical treatments
For some patients, lifestyle changes are the first step in their treatment plan. Some women can completely alleviate their symptoms with these changes, while others will need additional treatment. Many nonsurgical treatments are available to help with symptoms.
- Weight loss to help take the pressure of extra weight off the bladder
- Changes in diet, including cutting back on or eliminating caffeine, carbonated beverages and spicy foods
- Kegel exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- A high-fiber diet to alleviate constipation, which can make incontinence symptoms worse
- Keeping a bladder diary for bladder training, which is especially important for urge incontinence or overactive bladder
- Wearing a pessary – a device that a woman inserts into her vagina – to support vaginal walls while lifting the urethra and bladder
- Biofeedback therapy
- Medications to help prevent leakage, increase the bladder’s ability to store urine, or provide relief from the urge or frequency of urination
- Injections of bulking material into tissue that surrounds the urethra, or Botox injections directly into the bladder
- Our physicians urge patients to stop smoking, as smoking contributes to several health problems and makes incontinence symptoms worse
Surgical treatment for treating incontinence in women
When lifestyle changes and nonsurgical treatment does not solve the problem, our skilled surgeons offer surgical treatments.
- Sling surgeries, in which our surgeons insert surgical mesh between the urethra and vagina to help support damaged or weakened tissue
- Surgery for pelvic organ prolapse, combined with sling surgery
- Artificial urinary sphincter surgery to implant a fluid-filled ring around the neck of the bladder to keep the urinary sphincter, a muscle that controls the flow of urine, shut until it is time to urinate. Patients control the valve by pushing on a device implanted under the skin.
- Bladder neck suspension surgery to help support the urethra and neck of the bladder
Our talented surgeons and urologists are skilled at both diagnosing incontinence and treating incontinence in women. Contact us for an appointment.