Urinary Health

Urinary Incontinence


Urinary incontinence affects 13 million women in the United States and up to 50% of nursing home residents. The prevalence of incontinence seems to increase gradually during young adult life and peaks at middle age. Unfortunately most women who suffer from incontinence do not seek medical advice or help. There are many different types and causes of urinary incontinence. Some conditions that cause or exacerbate incontinence are potentially reversible. The two most common types of incontinence in active women are stress urinary incontinence and detrusor overactivity.

Women with stress urinary incontinence often lose urine unintentionally with physical exertion such as coughing, sneezing, exercising or laughing. Stress incontinence is associated with inadequate support to the urethra normally provided by connective tissue of the vagina. The weakening of the connective tissue may cause a hypermobility of the urethra leading to involuntary loss of urine with physical exertion. This form of hypermobility incontinence can be corrected with vaginal support devices, pelvic muscle exercises, or repositioning surgical treatments.

Detrusor overactivity patients experience a sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by urinary incontinence. Detrusor overactivity involves either provoked or uncontrolled bladder contractions. Several therapies have been used to treat detrusor overactivity, including electrostimulation, acupuncture, biofeedback, and medications. The two most commonly used modalities are medication and bladder retraining. Bladder retraining involves urinating at timed intervals with suppressing the urge symptoms between these voids. In general, medications that treat detrusor overactivity are aimed at reducing inappropriate bladder contractions.

Urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging that a woman has to accept. Although urinary incontinence is not life threatening or painful it can disrupt your quality of life. Today there are numerous simple, safe and effective treatments available for urinary incontinence. Your physician can provide you with detailed information on the diagnosis and treatment options for all types of incontinence.”