Urinary Incontinence (UI)

Incontinence is common – and it’s very treatable. Don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your doctor today.

It’s not just common, it’s treatable.

Getting Honest About Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is far more common than you might think – because people don’t like to talk about it. But the truth is that as many as one in three women struggles with incontinence, and as many as 25 million Americans suffer from it, and it can happen to both sexes at any age. But it isn’t inevitable.

Incontinence is often caused by specific changes in body function that may result from diseases, childbirth, medications, and/or the onset of an illness. It can sometimes be the first and only symptom of a urinary tract infection. Pregnancy, childbirth and aging can all increase the likelihood of a weakened pelvic floor, which can lead to incontinence, painful intercourse and organ prolapse – even in young women.

You’re Not Alone

These problems are common – but only a tiny fraction will seek help. Solutions available to you from the expert urologists and urogynecologists at INTEGRIS Health are often simple, like special exercises, biofeedback and yoga. But the first step is talking about it. Don’t suffer in silence. Take that step today.

Understanding Urinary Incontinence

The following are the most common symptoms for urinary incontinence. However, you may experience symptoms differently – and these symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems, so it’s always best to talk with your doctor. urinary incontinence symptoms include:

  • Inability to urinate
  • Pain related to filling the bladder and/or pain related to urination without a proven bladder infection
  • Progressive weakness of the urinary stream with or without a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • An increased rate of urination without a proven bladder infection
  • Needing to rush to the restroom and/or losing urine if you do not get to restroom in time
  • Abnormal urination or changes in urination related to a nervous system
  • Leakage of urine that prevents activities
  • Leakage of urine that began or continued after surgery
  • Leakage of urine that causes embarrassment
  • Frequent bladder infections

If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, it’s important to visit with your doctor and get a complete physical examination that focuses on your urinary and nervous systems, reproductive organs and urine samples. In many cases, you’ll be referred to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract, for further investigation, diagnosis and treatment.

Specific treatment for urinary incontinence will be determined by your doctor based on your age, overall health, medical history, the extent of the problem and your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies. Of course, your personal opinions and preferences will also be taken into consideration. Treatments may include:

  • Behavioral Therapies: These help you regain control of your bladder and can include:
    • Bladder Training: Teaches people to resist the urge to void and gradually expand the intervals between voiding.
    • Toileting Assistance: Uses routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules and prompted voiding to empty the bladder regularly to prevent leaking.
  • Pelvic Muscle Rehabilitation:
    • Kegel Exercises: Regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence. This is particularly helpful for younger women.
    • Biofeedback: Used in conjunction with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps you gain awareness and control of your pelvic muscles.
    • Vaginal Weight Training: Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the vaginal muscles.
    • Pelvic Floor Electrical Stimulation: Mild electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions. Performed in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
  • Medication: Includes specific drugs for incontinence as well as estrogen therapy, which may be helpful in conjunction with other treatments for postmenopausal women with UI.
  • Surgery: May be appropriate if the incontinence is related to structural problems such as an abnormally positioned bladder or a blockage.
  • Diet Modifications: Can include eliminating caffeine in coffee, soda, and tea, and/or eliminating alcohol.

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