Although the likelihood of developing urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) increases as women age, women in general are at a higher risk for developing it than men, and younger women are not immune. In fact, as many as 25% – 45% of women struggle with involuntary leakage of urine, many before reaching the onset of menopause.
Incontinence is an uncomfortable problem to deal with at any age, often causing embarrassment and impacting self-esteem and quality of life. A urologist can help women struggling with bladder problems find the best solution for their individual lifestyle and the type of incontinence from which they suffer.
Different Types of Female Incontinence
The board certified urologists at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Beverly Hills treat women for several different forms of the condition:
Treatment Options for Loss of Bladder Control
There are several factors that can lead to female incontinence. In some cases, childbirth or aging can cause weakening in the pelvic muscles that can make it difficult to control the flow of urine. In other cases, bladder problems can stem from an underlying health condition like diabetes. Treatment options vary depending on the type and source of the incontinence.
Lifestyle modifications like dietary changes and physical exercise to strengthen the pelvic muscles can be sufficient in some cases. Other patients may require medication in conjunction with non-surgical treatments. In some cases, surgery is the best option to treat urine leakage, usually when more conservative treatment methods have failed.
Medication can help to supplement other forms of treatment for bladder control problems. Some of the medications commonly prescribed by the urology specialists at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health include:
- Estrogen (topical) – helpful in managing urge incontinence
- Duloxetine – helpful in managing stress incontinence
- Anticholinergics – helpful in managing urge incontinence
- Imipramine – helpful in managing mixed (urge and stress) incontinence in younger patients
In addition to helping to ease bladder control problems, patients suffering from incontinence should be aware that certain types of medications can also exacerbate or contribute to the onset of symptoms. Some of the medications that are known to increase the risk of urine leakage as a side effect include:
- Sleeping pills
- High blood pressure medication
If you are taking any of the above medications and suffering from urine leakage, speak to a urologist to discuss treatment options.
Depending on the cause, type, and severity of incontinence, non-surgical treatments such as diet and behavior modification, strengthening exercises and physical therapy, and medication are typically prescribed first.
Common non-surgical tools for treating incontinence include:
- Scheduled bathroom use
- Managing fluid intake
- Pelvic floor and sphincter strengthening exercises to help support bladder control
When symptoms cannot be managed through more conservative methods, surgery and the use of medical devices might be an option.
Holistic Treatments for Incontinence
In the past, medicine has sometimes focused almost exclusively on merely treating the symptoms of disease and illness. A holistic approach to healing is designed to help restore the balance between mind and body in order to achieve overall wellness, in addition to treating symptoms. Patients have come to value and appreciate, as well as respond to the use of state of the art medical technology with more natural methods to treat a long list of illnesses.
Women, in particular, can benefit from the stress reduction and restorative treatments available at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health, which include:
- Lifestyle modification practices
- Massage Therapy
Surgery and Medical Devices
When conservative treatment options fail or are insufficient in stemming urine leakage and overflow, the urologists at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health offer several surgical procedures for female incontinence sufferers.
Some modern incontinence surgery and medical device options available include:
Sling – Made up of strips of synthetic material or tissue, slings are applied to the neck of the bladder to keep the opening of the urethra closed in cases of stress incontinence, where a physical motion such as a sneeze, cough, or laugh can cause loss of bladder control.
Injections – Known as “bulking agents”, injections of collagen or silicone beads are applied to directly to the tissue surrounding the urethra to help control the flow of leaked urine.
Pessary – When leakage is caused due to organ prolapse, a vaginal or anal insert known as a pessary can be used to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles and to keep tissue from the prolapsed organ in place.
Female Incontinence Treatment in Los Angeles
To learn more about the best treatment options for incontinence and other female urology problems, contact a board certified urologist at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Beverly Hills by calling 310-307-3552 to schedule an appointment today.