What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Millions of people suffer from a condition that causes the involuntary passage of urine called urinary incontinence. There are many adversities associated with urinary incontinence, like inconvenience and embarrassment. For this reason, the McAllen gynecology team at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Valley helps patients confirm urinary incontinence diagnosis and develop an ideal treatment depending on the cause of their condition.

What are the different types of urinary incontinence?

·         Stress incontinence: This condition occurs when pressure develops in the bladder from activities like coughing or laughing, causing urine to leak.

·         Urge incontinence: If you are the type of person that holds their pee until you feel an intense urge to release, you may experience leakage.

·         Chronic urine retention: This condition is also known as overflow incontinence which comprises the inability to empty your bladder fully, and thus frequent leakage occurs.

·         Total incontinence: This could be the most severe type of urinary incontinence because the bladder is completely unable to hold any urine, and thus, you are constantly passing urine.

When to seek medical advice from your urinary incontinence

Many patients feel uncomfortable talking about their symptoms to another person. However, if you have any urinary incontinence, you should not feel embarrassed to seek medical attention that will help you eliminate all your symptoms. If you visit your doctor and discuss your concerns, you will have made the most crucial step towards managing your condition. Your doctor will perform a pelvic or genital examination to analyze the cause of your condition. This pelvic or rectal assessment depends on your gender. Your doctor will also ask you to note down the amount of fluid you intake and how often you urinate.

What are the causes of urinary incontinence?

The root cause of your concern will depend on the type of urinary incontinence you have. For example:

·         If you have weakened pelvic muscles or a urethral sphincter, which are the muscles that assist in preventing urination, then you are likely to develop stress incontinence.

·         Overactive detrusor muscles, which are essential in controlling the bladder, cause urge incontinence.

·         A blockage in your bladder may cause the inability to empty urine, thus causing overflow incontinence.

·         There are many causes of total incontinence. Some patients are born with this disability, and some develop it after a spinal injury.

What are the treatment options for urinary incontinence?

Your doctor will first recommend conservative treatment options because they are safer and less invasive. Some of the non-surgical treatments include:

Lifestyle changes involve cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Pelvic floor therapy will help you strengthen the muscles that control your bladder.

You may also consider training your bladder by waiting for longer intervals between feeling the urge to urinate and passing the urine.

Surgery is the last option your doctor will recommend, and the type of surgery will depend on the kind of urinary incontinence you have. The sling procedure is perfect for relieving pressure causing stress incontinence. Enlarging the bladder can also help relieve urinary incontinence.

Contact the Women’s Clinic of the Rio Valley to find out more about surgical procedures available to help you treat urinary incontinence.

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