The prevalence of urinary incontinence among women is staggering — one in two report symptoms of the problem, which can either be temporary or chronic. If you’re struggling with ongoing issues with urinary leakage and the inability to control your bladder, it’s clear that you’re not alone.
And to answer the question we posed in the title of this blog, we feel the problem is anything but “normal.”
At Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Fernando Ortero and Dr. Norma Alejandra Garcia head up a team of compassionate and experienced providers who offers a wide range of services that cater to women’s health, which includes urinary incontinence.
Here’s a look at the many types of urinary incontinence and how we can go about solving the problem.
Behind your incontinence
There are many different types of urinary incontinence and reasons why it develops. For example, you may encounter urinary incontinence during pregnancy as your fetus places additional stress on your bladder. Luckily, this type of incontinence typically resolves itself after you give birth.
Another common issue is aging, which is why women over the age of 50 make up the lion’s share of those who report incontinence. Over time, the structures that support your bladder can weaken, which can lead to problems with incontinence. As well, the muscles that surround your urethra can loosen or the nerves that control your urination can deteriorate, both of which can lead to leakage and bladder-control issues.
Many older women also face pelvic organ prolapse issues, which can disrupt the urinary tract as other organs interfere with its function, leading to incontinence.
To help break the issue down, we typically categorize incontinence into three categories:
This is the most common form of incontinence and occurs when you have added pressures on your bladder.
This type of incontinence is also called overactive bladder and leads to a strong urge to urinate, even after you’ve voided your bladder. This urge can strike many times throughout the day, and you may not be able to make it to the bathroom in time.
With mixed incontinence, you display symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
There are other types of incontinence, but these represent the most common problems among women.
Treating your incontinence
To determine the best treatment plan for your urinary incontinence, we first review your symptoms and perform a thorough evaluation of your urinary tract. Once we identify the root cause of your incontinence, our goal is to help you gain control over the issue.
To do this, we offer several options, including:
- Bladder training
- Targeted exercises for your pelvic floor (Kegel exercises, for example)
- Botox® injections for overactive bladder
- Nerve stimulators
If these less invasive measures prove ineffective, we do offer surgical options that can restore the support of your bladder or correct its positioning.
The bottom line is that urinary incontinence is a serious quality-of-life issue, and we don’t feel that you should accept the problem as something that’s “normal.”
To explore your treatment options and regain control of your life, contact one of our two offices in McAllen and Edinburg, Texas, to set up an appointment. You can book a visit online or by phone.