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Urinary Incontinence

Brett Vassallo, M.D.
Urogynecologist, Pelvic Medicine and Urogynecology Center

There are many signs of aging — eyesight weakens, wrinkles form and staying in shape becomes challenging with a slowing metabolism. Although one out of every three women suffers from it, one change of aging that is rarely talked about is urinary incontinence.

The two most common types of incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence occurs during activity that causes pressure on the bladder such as laughing, lifting, coughing or sneezing. Urge incontinence or overactive bladder, is urine leakage that occurs before you can get to the bathroom in response to an urge to urinate. Women with this type of leakage also experience frequent urges to urinate and nighttime waking to urinate.

Most incontinence problems can be successfully treated with non-surgical treatments including:

Bladder Diary— Bladder diaries help show the causes of bladder control trouble by tracking when and what triggers your bladder weakness.
Pelvic Floor Exercises — Identifying and strengthening the muscles that help hold the organs in place may help reduce stress and urge incontinence.
Biofeedback — Massage, exercise, water therapy and ultrasound help identify and correct musculoskeletal problems that contribute to pelvic pain or incontinence.
Medications— Certain medications that decrease bladder spasms, tighten the urinary sphincter or alleviate irritation. If surgery is needed, there are many procedures that are minimally invasive and do not involve
abdominal incisions.