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Urinary Incontinence

Today, close to half of all women in the United States will experience some degree of bladder control loss – called urinary incontinence. The severity can range from occasionally leaking to having an uncontrollable urge to urinate. Florida Women’s Center Altamonte can help you regain control of your bladder and your life. Our team of medical experts will provide you with personalized attention and a customized treatment plan to ensure the best possible care  - every step of the way.

Causes

Bladder control issues can be caused by a number of underlying problems including lifestyle habits such as alcohol use or dehydration. More serious causes of urinary incontinence may include:

  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)
  • Bladder Stones
  • Bladder Cancer 
  • Neurological Disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, brain tumor or spinal injury
  • Tumor along the urinary tract 

Types

Stress Incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle is weakened, often from pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. 

Urge Incontinence occurs when the bladder muscle contracts, signaling a sudden intense need to urinate and followed by involuntary emptying of the bladder. 

Overflow Incontinence is an inability to empty the bladder, resulting in frequent or constant dribbling of urine.

Risk Factors

  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, Menopause
  • Weakening Muscles  - due to age
  • Being Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Kidney Diseases and Diabetes

Evaluation and Testing

The diagnostic testing required depends on the type of urinary incontinence you have. Often, treatment plans can be determined after your doctor reviews the following:  Medical history, bladder diary, urinalysis and a series of blood tests. However, if necessary, Florida Women’s Center Altamonte can provide a variety of additional evaluation and testing procedures: 

Postvoid Residual (PVR) Measurement to track the amount of urine left in your bladder after you urinate.
Pelvic Ultrasound to check for structural abnormalities.
Urodynamic Testing Measures to determine your bladder strength and urinary sphincter health.
Cystogram, an X-ray of your bladder to follow the flow of urine.
Cystoscopy, a tiny lens inserted into your urethra to flow your urinary tract.

Treatments

In most cases, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease or stop urinary incontinence.  If treatments are necessary, Florida Women’s Center Altamonte can provide the following:

  • Bladder Training to help you learn ways to control your bladder muscles.
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises called Kegel exercises, to gain better control over the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine.
  • Medications to calm overactive bladder muscles.
  • Medical Devices including a urethral insert, which acts as a plug to prevent leakage, or a pessary, a stiff ring inserted into your vagina, which helps support your bladder.
  • Sling Procedures - Utilizing strips of your body’s tissue, synthetic material, or mesh, your doctor can create a pelvic sling or hammock around your bladder neck and urethra to keep the urethra closed, especially when you cough or sneeze.
  • Bladder Neck Suspension to support your urethra and bladder neck, an area of thickened muscle where the bladder connects to the urethra.
  • Artificial Urinary Sphincter. A device is implanted around the neck of your bladder, which you control by pressing a valve under your skin.