Shhhh!!! Hush!! Don’t talk about it!
That’s right - leaking bladders, or stated more politely - urinary incontinence is one of the most commonly not-talked-about female problems. There are several types of incontinence but all have the common distinction of arising from defects of the reproductive and urinary tracts.
Some factors that influence the integrity of these systems include both age and menopause. As a woman matures, the declining estrogen may affect the integrity of vaginal lining causing it to thin. Known as Genitourinary Syndrome, this creates more relaxation of the ligaments supporting the bladder and urethra which are located just above the vagina. We offer some of the newest and most sophisticated treatments for this which are better described in our section on MonaLisa Touch.
There is the type of leakage that occurs when you are not able to find or get to a bathroom quick enough. Known as Urgency incontinence, it is associated with both frequency and urgency sensations. Often, this may be treated with modifying behavior, such as avoiding certain triggers or changing the time of consuming certain liquids. Some patients may benefit from medications to treat their urgency. And yet others may require some minor, office based nerve stimulation to dramatically improve urgency episodes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not worry about the route you take to work based on bathroom locations? Or being able to sit through an entire movie at the theater without having to take an unscheduled ‘matinee’ to run the bathroom?
Another common form of incontinence occurs with sneezing, laughing, coughing or even jumping. These types of efforts occur spontaneously. You may even avoid exercise or other activities to prevent embarrassment. This is referred to as Stress urinary incontinence and may arise from childbirth, using certain medications or even surgery. Whatever the cause, you should not have to worry about sneezing unexpectedly or not being able to take a tennis lesson because you may experience leakage. Treatments for this type include Kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle therapy. Some patients may obtain virtually no leakage after a minor outpatient procedure that contains no mesh.
Let’s not keep putting the “Hush hush!” on bladder leakage. If we do not discuss it, the leakage is not going to stop. We can help you with this very personal concern. No more buying pads or liners. Imagine your life without the anxiousness of worrying about being embarrassed!