Urinary incontinence can be annoying, frustrating, and even life-altering. It can control your daily activity and keep you from doing the activities you love. At Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery in St. Louis, Fareesa G. Khan, MD, is an expert urogynecologist who offers evaluation and treatment for your condition. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to learn how to find relief from urinary incontinence.
If you unintentionally leak urine, that’s incontinence. Incontinence can be temporary, sometimes as a result of bladder stimulation from alcohol or caffeine, but it can also be chronic.
Incontinence that benefits from treatment includes:
As a result of urinary incontinence, you may get frequent urinary tract infections, a disrupted social or work life, and irritation of the tissue around your genitals.
Women’s pelvic floor muscles weaken due to aging and childbirth. As you get older, the decreased production of estrogen that occurs with menopause or after a hysterectomy often causes incontinence. Obesity or injury to the pelvic floor in an accident can also be to blame.
Sometimes exercises, such as kegels, and dietary changes, such as reducing caffeine, can alleviate mild symptoms of incontinence. But you may benefit from added estrogen or sacral neural stimulation.
This reversible treatment uses a small device to send electrical impulses to nerves in your lower back. These sacral nerves are responsible for the muscles and organs that control the bladder, sphincter, and pelvic floor muscles – all of which are intrinsic in bladder control. The electrical stimulation often successfully eliminates or reduces bladder control problems in many women.
Botox®, the well-known wrinkle reducer, is also an effective treatment for incontinence. It temporarily helps with urinary incontinence by decreasing the muscular contractions of the bladder when injected into key areas. Botox is effective if you have an overactive bladder or bladder irregularities due to neurological disease or injury.
Some women benefit from the insertion of a removable device called a pessary that pushes up against the vagina and urethra. This supports your pelvic floor muscles and alleviates the symptoms of stress incontinence.
Other surgical procedures are helpful in treating urinary incontinence. These include sling procedures, in which a mesh-like piece of tissue (sometimes derived from your own body) is inserted to hold your bladder in place.
If you’re affected by leaking urine, don’t hesitate to call the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery or book an appointment online.