Urinary Leakage… The Facts
Urinary incontinence is something that many women deal with but never talk about it. They often hide their panty liners, pads and extra pair of underwear because they feel that no one else could be dealing with this problem. They want to hide the fact that they leak.
Women deal with it for years convincing themselves that it’s a normal part of aging; in fact, they remember that their mother or grandmother was also incontinent, so it must just be the way it is. We at Austin Urogynecology are here to remind you that you are not alone and that there is an answer. No longer do you have to silently suffer because there is a solution.
Urinary incontinence falls into two categories, stress and urge. Stress incontinence is very common in women after vaginal deliveries, as the supportive structures within the vagina change. Complaints related to stress incontinence include leakage with coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising, bending over to pick things up, and jumping. This type of incontinence can present right after deliveries or can take a little while to develop, it can also be present in women who haven’t had deliveries as well. In women with very mild symptoms, physical therapy may be an appropriate initial treatment to help reduce or resolve leakage episodes. As stress incontinence progresses, physical therapy becomes less effective in fully treating symptoms. When physical therapy is no longer an option or when stress incontinence has progressed to severe leakage, a procedure called a midurethral sling can provide resolution of symptoms.
Urge incontinence, also termed overactive bladder, occurs when the bladder contracts before you have a chance to actually sit down to void. Leakage can also be spontaneous and not associated with urges to use the restroom. Many times urge incontinence can be managed with behavioral modifications such as reducing fluid intake throughout the day and avoiding holding the bladder for too long. In some instances, physical therapy can assist in controlling symptoms. When more conservative measures fail, there are other options, including Botox injections in the bladder, PTNS and Interstim, which help control the over activity of the bladder.
Regardless of the cause of your leakage, there is an answer and a solution. No longer do you have to be embarrassed about going out with friends or put off that next trip. Austin Urogynecology is here to help you take the first step to being a more confident and active version of yourself.
Got questions? Need an appointment? We’re here to help!