Female urinary incontinence shouldn’t be thought of as an inevitable outcome of growing older. In fact, the majority of women who deal with it can ultimately be cured or at least greatly helped.
The ideal treatment is primarily based on the overall cause of the incontinence itself as well as individual preferences. Some common treatments may include any of the following:
- Trained behaviors, including timed urination and bladder training
- Kegel exercises and lifestyle changes
- Certain medical devices or medications
- Surgical procedures
Medications as well as lifestyle changes, exercises, and behavioral training are generally tried first before exploring surgical procedures. If the problem persists, your doctor will likely try another type of treatment or perform additional tests. If there’s more than one reason that you’re experiencing incontinence issues, the primary cause is always treated first, subsequently followed by treatment for other less important causes, if necessary.
Ways Incontinence is Effectively Treated
Kegel exercises, when performed correctly, are a very effective way to help incontinence issues. These exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are designed to control the flow of urine. As they get stronger, you’ll suffer less frequent leaks or accidents. These Kegel exercises are most helpful in treating urge and stress incontinence.
Bladder training or retraining is when you slowly increase the amount of time you can wait before going to the bathroom.
Key Vaginal Devices for Incontinence
One of the main reasons for incontinence may be due to weak pelvic muscles, which are the set of muscles that literally hold the urine inside the bladder and in place. Doctors sometimes use a pessary device in order to address female incontinence. This stiff ring is inserted into the vagina, and it’s used to press against the vaginal wall and urethra. This leads to less leakage overall since the pressure helps the urethra reposition itself.
Medicines for Incontinence
In the case of an overactive bladder, sometimes doctors prescribe certain medications in order to block the body’s nerve signals that primarily cause urination urgency and frequency. Many medicines known as ‘anticholinergics’ help the bladder muscles relax and therefore prevent sudden bladder spasms. However, they do have some side effects including constipation, flushing, rapid heartbeat, and blurred vision.
Many women are afraid or embarrassed to mention their incontinence issues. They often suffer in silence and resort to buying adult diapers or absorbent undergarments. This is very unfortunate since most incontinent issues can successfully be resolved by simply talking to your doctor about an effective treatment plan.
At our offices, Dr. Sherry Thomas is an experienced and skilled urogynecologist who specializes in treating women’s health issues. She offers surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Our team will work with you to determine the most effective treatment plan for your individual needs. Don’t settle for just living with urinary incontinence. Contact Dr. Sherry Thomas today to schedule your consultation. We’ll help you get your life back.