Keeping Incontinence in Check
Urinary incontinence is defined as the involuntary loss of urine. If you have this problem, you are not alone. In fact, between 25 to 40 percent of women suffer from the condition – although many are too embarrassed to talk about it with their doctor. They don’t realize it can be treated, and almost always improved or even cured. Instead, they suffer needlessly and allow it to affect the quality of their lives.
For some women incontinence can be transient – a temporary condition that arises as a side effect of a medication or other situation that will eventually pass – something as simple as reducing coffee, tea and alcohol intake can do the trick; and when a few drops do leak, a mini pad is effective in catching it.
Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence among women – leakage that occurs with anything that increases intra-abdominal pressure such as sneezing or coughing, or during a particular movement or exercise such as running.
Other women suffer from urge incontinence, experiencing an involuntary loss of urine in association with an overwhelming need to void. Typically a woman will say, “If I don’t go immediately, I can’t make it to the bathroom.” This type of urine loss is due to a sudden uncontrolled contraction of the bladder.
It is important for you to have a thorough evaluation in order for us to determine what type of incontinence is present and why it is occurring, so that we can treat you most effectively. We use many different treatments for urinary incontinence but the treatment depends on diagnosing the underlying problem. You may merely need to adjust your dietary and fluid intake habits, or get help in controlling a co-existing medical condition (such as diabetes). We may recommend changes in bladder habits, bladder training or behavioral modification. Pelvic muscle rehabilitation and strengthening can be extremely helpful. There are a variety of medications to strengthen the urethra or help relax an overactive bladder muscle. Surgical procedures are available to help reposition the bladder back into its normally-functioning position.
In addition to these treatments, we now offer a minimally invasive treatment using the Juliet laser which has shown good results in addressing stress urinary incontinence. Essentially, treatment with Juliet stimulates neocollagenesis. This leads to a restoration of the metabolism of connective tissue and to an improvement in the condition of the mucosa. Some women experience a lessening of symptoms immediately after the first treatment with improvement continuing throughout the first month after treatment. Click here to learn more about treatment with Juliet.
There is no need for urinary incontinence to rule your life. As dedicated healthcare professionals we are willing to get to know you and understand your problem in order to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate the right treatment.
If you experience sudden urine leakage or often have sudden strong urges to empty your bladder, please take a few moments to answer the following questions. If you answer yes to several of the questions you may be a candidate for Urodynamic Testing:
- Have you noticed a change in your frequency of urination?
- Do you currently wear pads or liners to protect against unplanned leaks?
- When planning a trip outing our event, does the availability or location of restroom facilities affect your decision?
- Do you have trouble holding you urine as you hurry to the bathroom?
- Do you ever experience unplanned, sudden urine loss either while sleeping or during the day?
- Do you experience leakage while laughing, sneezing, jumping or performing other movements that put pressure on the bladder?
- Do you visit the bathroom to urinate more than 8 times per day?
- Do you frequently experience a sudden urge to urinate
What is Urodynamic testing? Also known as Urodynamics is a study done in Dr. Dittrich’s office that assesses how the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine. Urodynamic tests can help explain symptoms such as:
- frequent urination
- sudden, strong urges to urinate but nothing comes out
- problems starting a urine stream
- painful urination
- problems emptying the bladder completely
- recurrent urinary tract infections
The findings from Urodynamics will provide Dr. Dittrich with the information necessary to diagnose the cause and nature of your incontinence, thus giving the best treatment options available.
You will be provided with a patient fact sheet that explains what to expect during the Urodynamic test and also what you need to do prior to the study.