Urinary incontinence is a common problem for many women. This is a condition that becomes more common with age, menopause, and after childbirth. In fact, women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with this issue. Urinary incontinence is defined as a general loss of bladder control, though the condition has several unique variations.
Stress incontinence is the sudden, unintentional loss of urine with everyday activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercise, or sometimes just bending. Essentially, any movement that puts pressure on the bladder causes the urethra to lose its seal and allows urine to escape.
Urge incontinence is caused by uncontrolled contraction of the bladder muscle, creating an urgency to urinate and sometimes leaking before reaching the bathroom. This is commonly also referred to as overactive bladder syndrome. Symptoms often include feeling a strong urge to urinate even when there is little urine in the bladder.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence, and may be corrected with a combination of treatments advised by Dr. Cotter.
Neurogenic bladder incontinence is an uncommon form of incontinence that occurs due to nerve damage or brain/spinal cord conditions. Some conditions that commonly cause this type of incontinence are types of dementia, cerebral palsy, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, and even ADHD.
Treatment depends on the type of incontinence, severity, and your lifestyle and preferences. Some treatments are as simple as exercise or medicine while other options include procedural or surgical correction.
Stress Incontinence: Dr. Cotter can treat this type of incontinence can often be treated by strengthening the pelvic floor through kegel exercise, or through surgical correction of the bladder and urethra. Surgical correction is done with a small, single incision in the vagina, through which she lifts the urethra back into position behind the pubic bone. This outpatient procedure will resolve 85% of stress incontinence symptoms, with improvement of symptoms for the majority of the remaining 15% of women.
Urge Incontinence: Treatment for this kind of incontinence is usually done by behavior modification and medication when necessary.
Neurological Bladder Incontinence: Treatment of this type of incontinence depends on the cause, but it is commonly treated with medication and kegel exercises.
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